This is a tough situation that we’re seeing again and again. We dealt with it when the CDC shortened guidance from 14 days to 10, as well, though after a few months most of them switched over to 10 after that change. At this point, it’s such a moving target to try to code specific counties and states in systematic ways because their guidance is changing so rapidly, that it’s nearly impossible to keep track.
For our own ZHH & Zedic Wellness Check clients, the employee themselves or the manager can chat with our team to let them know that they’re located in a county or state that requires 10-day guidance. We already do this any time an employee says that they’ve been given a quarantine end date - either by their health department, doctor, hospital, or any other medical provider, as long as that’s at least as stringent as the CDC guidance. We recommend advising managers in counties or states that are sticking with 10 days to keep an eye on their exclusions. For Wellness Check clients, they can reply to the exclusion email if it’s too short to let the nursing team know it needs to be extended to 10 days based on local county or state guidance.
All of this said, the CDC guidance is being updated regularly, and we are seeing lots of people needing to extend after 5 days, so there is some chance that our exclusion chart continues to change based on updated guidance - we’ll keep you updated as it does!
Almost any medical grade mask is permissible in most jurisdictions. The intent is to no longer use cloth masks or neck gaiters. Omicron is so transmissible that a cloth mask really does little or nothing to prevent transmission. Employees shouldn’t use neck gaiters, bandanas or other cloth masks. Any surgical mask or respirator (KN95, N95, etc) should do the trick, though N95 or KN95 do provide more protection. We love this chart from the Wall Street Journal that shows the impact of better masks on how long it takes to transmit COVID:
Remember, masks work, but only if the proper masks are used and used properly (over the nose and mouth). Be sure employees aren’t re-using masks for too long, replace them when soiled, and wear them correctly!
According to a recent study, a second dose of J&J vaccine reduces hospitalizations from Omicron by 85%. While an mRNA vaccine as a booster is preferred after a single dose of J&J, if you had two doses of J&J, you are considered fully protected and won’t need to quarantine after exposures as long as you’re symptom-free.
This has absolutely nothing to do with COVID or Health News, isn’t really a best laugh but is oddly satisfying to watch and may be the mental health break we all need today.