New York State Shortens Covid Quarantine Guidelines For Essential Workers

Topline

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday shortened the recommended quarantine period for essential workers in the state who have tested positive for Covid-19 to five days from 10 amid worries over staffing shortage after a surge in cases — a step beyond the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has only shortened quarantine guidance for healthcare workers.

Key Facts

Under Hochul’s new guidance, fully vaccinated essential employees who work in healthcare, education, utilities, disposal services, sanitation, transportation, and essential retail businesses like grocery stores and restaurants, will be able to return to work after quarantining for five days with a Covid-19 diagnosis if they meet certain criteria.

In order to return to work, employees must not have had a fever over the past 72 hours, have either no Covid-19 symptoms or improving symptoms, and must wear a mask while at work; A negative test is not required to return.

Workers who are immunocompromised would not be able to return to work under a shortened quarantine according to the new guidance.

The CDC updated its guidance on Thursday to allow healthcare workers who display no symptoms and test negative for Covid-19 to cut their quarantine time down to five to seven days; the CDC’s original recommendation was to quarantine for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.

Key Background

The announcement came after New York reported 44,431 new Covid cases had been diagnosed in the state Thursday, a new record. Coronavirus infections are rising across the country amid the spread of the omicron variant, which initial studies have found to be more contagious than previous variants, but may have milder symptoms. The CDC said the omicron variant accounted for 73.2% of new Covid-19 cases in the United States last week and is the new dominant strain in the nation. 

Tangent

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday the city would scale back its New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, admitting only 15,000 attendees.

Further Reading

New York’s Daily Covid-19 Case Count Jumps 35% To Another Record (Forbes)

Omicron Is Now The Dominant Covid Variant In U.S., At 73% Of Cases (Forbes)

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