New COVID guidance from the CDC throws some of what we’ve learned about safe returns to work and prevention out the window. The CDC’s recommendation is now that anyone exposed to COVID is safe to be around others by wearing a well-fitted and high-quality mask for ten days. I’d suggest that the “well-fitting and high-quality mask” is a big factor. Employers should still require that employees inform them of exposure and intent to test and, at that time, let them know the new standard and that they may report in person. Keep a stock of KN95 or other tight-fitting masks on hand. Delaware still requires employers to provide masks, and these are readily available.
All persons should still seek testing for active infection when they are symptomatic or if they have a known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID. Symptomatic or infected persons should isolate promptly, and infected persons should remain in isolation for at least five days (day 0 is the day of exposure) and wear a well-fitting and high-quality mask if they must be around others. Infected persons may end isolation after five days, only when they are without a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medication and all other symptoms have improved. They should continue to wear a mask or respirator around others at home and in public through day 10.
Don’t forget: employees at high risk for severe illness and those in contact with them (such as caregiving recipients and household members) may want to minimize risk if they learn they’ve been exposed. They may still ask to quarantine while they await test results. This may either be handled by telework, isolating onsite, or taking available paid or unpaid time off. Be cognizant of reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities; this may fall into that basket.
On another note, I am really happy to announce that I was voted into Best Lawyers in America for employment law. I joined 59 of my colleagues at Offit Kurman, who were included in the listing of the top 5% of American lawyers.
Sincerely, thank you for your trust in me.
ABOUT KATHERINE WITHERSPOON FRY
For over 25 years, Katherine has provided her clients with robust representation in matters of employment and related business law. Katherine represents and counsels employers and executives in all facets of the employment relationship, including hiring, termination, discrimination, non-competition, Fair Labor Standards Act matters, issues regarding Family and Medical Leave and other leaves, whistleblowers’ complaints, and regulatory matters. As a litigator, she is well aware of the nuances of law necessary to draft effective restrictive covenants, severance agreements, and employment contracts. Along with her over 250 colleagues, she represents companies and non-profit organizations of all sizes. She has defended companies under investigation by both U.S. and state Departments of Labor and handled multiple matters before the EEOC.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman, one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the United States, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. With 18 offices and more than 250 lawyers who counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice, Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration. For more information, visit www.offitkurman.com.
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