When can an employee who previously tested positive for COVID-19 return to work?

To help determine whether an employee may return to work, employers can refer to the COVID-19 Employer Playbook For a Safe Reopening that outlines virus infection timeframes.

For example, a symptomatic employee who tested positive for COVID-19may return to work if “at least 1 day (24 hours) has passed since last fever … and improvements in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.”

Employers may also find these time- and symptom-based approaches in the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) August 24, 2020 Guidance on Returning to Work or School Following COVID-19 Diagnosis.

It’s important that employers continuously check for updates at both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and their local health departments.

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