August 19, 2022

CDC Loosens its COVID-19 Guidance

On August 11th, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) relaxed its Covid-19 recommendations, which rescinds and alters a number of key recommendations, including treating unvaccinated and vaccinated people differently for many purposes, explicitly stating that people with previous infection have protection against severe illness, and dropping six-foot social distancing standard. The shift in strategy reportedly places more of the onus on individuals, rather than businesses, schools and other institutions to control the spread of the Coronavirus.

The agency has also eliminated the quarantine rule for unvaccinated individuals, as well as dropping its recommendation that people be screened or tested for Covid at work and in most public settings.  The changes are reflected on the CDC’s webpage, “How to Protect Yourself and Others.”

Some previous guidance remains intact. For example, the CDC guidance advises people who have been exposed — but not confirmed to be infected — to still wear a mask and get tested at least five days after exposure.  And people who test positive should continue to isolate immediately and stay home for five full days if positive.

While many welcomed CDC loosening its coronavirus guidance, California employers should continue to follow the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) which remain in effect.  The California workplace standards were updated in May 2022, and the revisions will remain in effect until December 31, 2022. More information on the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards is available on Cal/OSHA’s Frequently Asked Questions.