No, unfortunately that’s incorrect. The employee still needs to wear a mask if they are unvaccinated, even if they tested positive for COVID in the past. Antibodies are shown to protect an employee up to 90 days after the initial infection (and in this case the employee is past that timeline), but there’s limited research about how long that “natural immunity” lasts beyond those first 90 days. The CDC’s guidelines allowing vaccinated employees to remove their masks doesn’t currently extend to those with natural immunity.
Currently, for symptoms of a fever over 100.4° and a headache, we recommend keeping the employee out for 3 days from the date of symptom onset. The employee must also be 24 hours symptom-free to return, including 24 hours fever-free without fever-reducing medication. It’s still possible to get sick and spread illness, including COVID, once vaccinated, so at this time we will continue to exclude all employees that are experiencing symptoms.
It’s possible someone will test positive for COVID if they’re continuing to have symptoms, no matter the timeline. Currently, the CDC recommends that COVID+ employees are excluded for 10 days from the date of symptom onset, and that they must be 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications with all other symptoms improving. Because someone could still test positive for weeks or months, even without symptoms, the CDC doesn’t recommend return-to-work testing.
According to the CDC’s vaccine advisors, there is a low risk for myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart muscle) following the mRNA COVID vaccine. The CDC’s vaccine safety monitoring system reported 12.6 cases per million in people ages 12-39, occurring within a 3 week period after the second dose. Vaccine-related myocarditis is highly treatable and has a good recovery rate for patients. Although myocarditis is possible after the vaccine, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.