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Zero Hour Health + Zedic Newsletter - Tuesday, March 9th

New CDC guidelines, women and the COVID vaccine, can long COVID be treated?

Today's Recap:

Best Questions:

What can a fully vaccinated person do? 

The CDC has listed a few key (and exciting!) things that fully vaccinated people can do. Those include:

  • Indoor visits with other fully vaccinated people without the need to wear masks or social distance.
  • Indoor visits with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease without the need to wear masks or social distance.
  • Skip quarantine and testing following a known close contact exposure, as long as you don’t have any symptoms.

Even fully vaccinated people should maintain previous safety precautions (masking, social distancing, avoiding indoor gatherings) whenever they are with high-risk people or in public areas. And the CDC still recommends avoiding crowds and delaying travel. One reason for the continued precaution is that we still don’t know a whole lot about the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and for high-risk people or large groups, even one case of COVID can lead to real trouble.

Have the travel guidelines for fully vaccinated people changed?

Unfortunately, no. The CDC still recommends the same testing and quarantine regimen for travelers, regardless of vaccination status. That includes getting tested 1-3 days before your trip and again 3-5 days after your trip, plus self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, the recommendation is to stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. 

Will vaccinated people have different work exclusions than non-vaccinated people?

Yes. The latest guidance says that fully vaccinated people (those who received their final vaccine dose at least 2 weeks ago) will not need to quarantine or get tested if they’re exposed to COVID in the future. There’s currently no end date for that. For now, we’re assuming that vaccine protection will last indefinitely, at least until we get more data. So, those who were vaccinated and received their final dose at least 2 weeks ago will not need to have exposure exclusions, only symptoms-based exclusions. That is GREAT news. 

To give you a sense for that, right now for every 1,000 employees that pass their daily wellness checks through Zedic, one employee fails and is excluded for 10 days due to close contact with someone sick. If every one of those employees was vaccinated, that entire group would be back at work. 

If the “immunity window” for quarantine exemption is indefinite for vaccinated people, will it be extended past 90 days for those who had lab-confirmed COVID-19?

As of now, no. Natural COVID infection produces less reliable antibody response - some people may be protected for a long time, some people (often with milder infections) may be protected for a shorter time. For now, we can’t be certain what level of protection someone has from a COVID infection, at least until we learn more about antibody levels and what they mean in terms of protection. The vaccines, on the other hand, are much more controlled and predictable, which affords us greater confidence that a certain level of protection is provided. So for now, those with lab-confirmed COVID can only skip quarantine if exposed for 3 months. Just another good reason to ensure that everyone, even those who have had COVID, gets their vaccine!

Best Read:

As more and more of your employees experience the brutal and unpredictable effects of long COVID, it’s a question not just for medical experts, but for HR professionals, managers, and employees, too: Can long COVID be treated?

Best Laugh:

Thinking back to a year ago….

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.