Great news - the answer is no! If someone is fully vaccinated, they don’t need to be excluded even if someone in their household is confirmed COVID+. As long as the employee doesn’t have any symptoms of their own, they are cleared to work even if their partner, child, or roommate - or anyone else for that matter - gets sick with COVID.
No! It’s a common misconception, but allergies don’t cause fever and they rarely cause shortness of breath except possibly in those with asthma. You may have heard of “hay fever” as a common phrase for allergies, but that’s just an old-timey way of saying allergies, and doesn’t actually cause any fever.
Unfortunately, not necessarily. We are thrilled to see so many of your employees participating in clinical trials (yay, science!), but there are some things to consider before we count someone as fully vaccinated. First, if someone is still enrolled in a clinical trial, they don’t know yet whether they had the real vaccine or a placebo (usually saline), and those results aren’t generally released until the trial is over. Second, if a drug is still in an ongoing clinical trial, it may not actually be authorized yet for Emergency Use by the FDA.
For those who were in clinical trials where they received the real vaccine either during or after their participation, and that vaccine was then approved for emergency use in their age-group by the FDA (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J), then we would consider them fully vaccinated.
For anyone else who participated in a trial for a vaccine that isn’t authorized at this time (like Novavax or AstraZeneca) or that isn’t approved for their age group (for example, they were in a trial for J&J in kids aged 12-18), we unfortunately recommend treating them as if they are unvaccinated. The same thing goes for those that are currently participating in a trial. We just can’t be sure until the research is finished, it’s confirmed that they got the real thing, and that vaccine is approved for their age group in the U.S.
This is a tough one and we’re still waiting for the CDC to weigh in on this. There is a growing body of evidence that it’s very hard for someone who had COVID in the past 90 days to spread it to anyone else - in fact, a new study shows that time period may be much longer than 90 days, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the CDC were to extend that window at some point after a few more studies are concluded. So it makes sense that someone who recently recovered from COVID could be unmasked without posing a serious risk to those around them (as long as they meet the criteria for going back to work, of course). But right now, the CDC guidance around wearing a mask is only separated into those who are unvaccinated and those who are vaccinated - with no guidance for those who have “natural” immunity due to recent infection.
We’ve posed this question to the CDC to try to get an on-the-record answer but haven’t heard back yet, but it’s a hot topic in the medical community right now. We’ll continue to keep you updated, but until we get clear CDC guidance, it’s likely a decision for you and your team to make with the help of your legal counsel.