CDPH Updates Isolation and Quarantine Recommendations – K-12 Schools

CATEGORY: Special Bulletins
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education, Public Employers, Public Safety
PUBLICATION: LCW Special Bulletin
DATE: Apr 21, 2022

On April 6, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) updated its guidance for local health jurisdictions on isolation and quarantine of the general public.  The new guidance removes quarantine recommendations for asymptomatic exposed people, regardless of vaccination status.  The CDPH now recommends that those who were exposed to COVID-19 and are asymptomatic should test within 3-5 days of last exposure and wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days.  If a person tests positive, they should follow isolation recommendations as set forth in Table 1 of the guidance, which includes staying home for at least 5 days.  Additionally, those who were infected with COVID-19 within the prior 90 days do not need to be tested, quarantined, or excluded from work unless symptoms develop.

While the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has not yet updated the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for workplace settings to reflect the new CDPH isolation and quarantine recommendations, Executive Order N-84-20 is still in effect and states that the recommended isolation and quarantine periods in the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention ETS will be overridden by any applicable isolation or quarantine recommendations by the CDPH or local health departments with jurisdiction over the workplace.  Therefore, employers should follow the updated recommendations by the CDPH regarding isolation and quarantine for asymptomatic exposed people, subject to any local health department guidance that requires a longer exclusion period.

K-12 Student Quarantine Recommendations

The CDPH also issued guidance for K-12 schools on April 6 revising student quarantine recommendations for those exposed to COVID-19.  Students who are exposed to COVID-19 and are asymptomatic may be permitted to continue taking part in all aspects of K-12 schooling, including sports and extracurricular activities.  The CDPH strongly recommends that exposed students wear a well-fitting mask indoors for at least 10 days following the date of last exposure.

The CDPH recommends that exposed students, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, get a diagnostic COVID-19 test within 3-5 days after last exposure, unless they had COVID-19 within the last 90 days.  If the student becomes symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19, students should stay home and/or isolate based on current CDPH guidance and relevant local guidance.  It is important that schools continue following all local guidance concerning quarantine and isolation recommendations, as some local jurisdictions continue to require that unvaccinated individuals quarantine after close contact exposure to COVID-19.

LCW attorneys are available to assist with questions about quarantine and isolation recommendations in workplace or school settings.

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