Legal Blog

Governor Wolf Amends Mitigation Order to Match the CDC

On March 1, 2021, Governor Wolf amended the November 23, 2020, Mitigation, Enforcement and Immunity Protections Order. Governor Wolf made two changes to the November 23, 2020 Order. The first change relates to employees who are in Close Contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and the second relates to events and gatherings restrictions. This blog focuses on the Employee Close Contact amendment.

Governor Wolf simply changed the Order to match the CDC Guidance as it relates to Close Contact for vaccinated employees. Check out my previous blog on the CDC Guidance on vaccinated employees.

Governor Wolf amended Section 1(B)(iv)(b) of the November Order to read:

An employee who is a Close Contact of a person who is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19, as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health or local health department in accordance with CDC guidance, may not continue to work at an in-person business, and must quarantine in accordance with the direction of the Pennsylvania Department of Health or the local health department unless Pennsylvania Department of Health Update #551 PA-HAN-551.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN…

This simply means that the CDC Guidelines still apply.

EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED

Employees who are not vaccinated, must continue to follow the CDC Guidelines. They must still quarantine for 14 days after a Close Contact. As we know, the CDC offered two other options for a shorter quarantine. Employees can quarantine either for:

  • 10 days without a test, or
  • 7 days so long as they present a negative COVID test (and the test occurred on day 5 or later).
FULLY VACCINATED EMPLOYEES

Now, for employees who are vaccinated, the quarantine guidelines are a bit different. The Commonwealth issued a Quarantine Recommendation that matches with the CDC recommendation, let’s delve into this:

First, what is a “Fully Vaccinated Employee?”

According to the PA Quarantine Recommendation, an employee is fully vaccinated after 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose of a Double Shot Vaccine, or after 2 weeks following a Single Dose Vaccine.

Vaccinated Employees who Experience Symptoms MUST QUARANTINE

The PA Recommendation matches the CDC. Any employee, regardless of vaccination status must quarantine if they experience symptoms of COVID-19.

Vaccinated Employees who Do NOT Experience Symptoms After a Close Contact

Fully Vaccinated employees do not have to quarantine after a Close Contact if ALL of the following criteria are satisfied:

  1. They are Fully Vaccinated (see definition above);
  2. The Close Contact occurred within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; AND,
  3. They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.

As mentioned in my previous blog, this means the inquiry following a Close Contact should read as follows:

Have you had a Close Contact with a Confirmed Case of COVID? (Y/N)

  • Are you experiencing symptoms?
    • If yes, then quarantine.
    • If No, then go to the next question.
  • Are you fully vaccinated? (Y/N)
    • If No, then quarantine
    • If Yes…
      • Did you receive your second shot within the last 90 days of the Close Contact? (Y/N)
        • If No, then quarantine.
        • If Yes, then quarantine is not required.

ABOUT SUSIE CIRILLI

Susie.Cirilli@offitkurman.com | 267.338.1395

Susie M. Cirilli is a Labor & Employment attorney that assists clients with issues involving the ADA, FMLA, and Title VII claims. Susie litigates on matters related to hostile work environment, discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race and disability. Susie has experience representing employers in fact-finding conferences and mediations before the PHRC and the EEOC. Susie’s practice also consists of counseling and advising clients on employment matters. She often advises employers on day to day employment matters and assists her clients on employee issues such as hiring and terminations, which includes drafting and negotiating separation agreements. Susie has experience drafting and revising employment agreements, employee handbooks, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. Susie is admitted in the Middle District and Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is also admitted in the Federal Court for the District of New Jersey.

 

 

 

 

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