Yup, we’re back again with new coronavirus pandemic rules.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their recommendations in August. Thankfully, the info is pretty straightforward this time.
A big question on the mind of many business leaders is: When should an employee stop isolating safely after having COVID-19?
One would think that simply taking another nasal swab and testing negative would do the trick, but it’s not that simple.
Turns out, many people who have tested positive for COVID-19 will continue testing positive for the virus for up to three months after initially contracting it, even if they aren’t contagious or experiencing a single symptom (a.k.a. asymptomatic). This is because they’ll continue to have low levels of the virus in their system, though they won’t feel it and won’t spread it. So, it may not be the best use of time or resources to get tested again.
According to the CDC, the majority of those who test positive for COVID-19 won’t be contagious 10 to 20 days after their symptoms begin, despite whatever a test will show. The longer length—20 days—tends to be for those with severe illness, or those who are immunocompromised.
Anyone who had a mild to moderate experience - meaning those with a sore throat, malaise, headache, muscle pain, a saturation of oxygen of more than 94 percent and no shortness of breath - should wait until at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours have passed since their last fever sans medication. Symptoms should have also improved.
These updated rules don’t imply that you’re immune to COVID if you’ve had it, however. So continue wearing your mask and social distancing.