If you are a small business employer who thinks the period of time your employees should quarantine, after suspected or confirmed exposure to the virus, has been reduced from 14 days - you should read this!
Following the recent news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), has reduced the length of time that individuals should quarantine after an exposure to COVID-19 your small businesses should be aware that the CDC continues to recommend quarantining the full 14 days , absent local health authorities determining that a shorter period is appropriate.
Guidance for individuals vs employees
Maybe an easier way for your business to understand this suggested reduction in quarantine is to think of it as really being guidance for the individual and not for your workplace and employees. For example; the CDC still recommends that employers follow the 14 day quarantine in stating that -
"Potentially exposed employees who do not have symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.”
Links to CDC FAQs and guidance
Main takeaway for your business...
The legal landscape and guidance for COVID-19 is constantly changing - especially with the national and worldwide resurgence of the pandemic - so make sure that you act with caution when it comes to deciding upon the length of time your employee(s) should quarantine and consider the realities and risks present in your particular workplace. As CDC guidance is not binding your business should comply with the quarantine periods established by your state and local public health authorities. For example; Illinois has specific guidance for employers and employees regarding COVID-19 relating to workers rights and safety during the pandemic.
As always - if you are still confused regarding actions your business should take, concerning the time your employee(s) should quarantine, it is highly recommended for you to consult with your small business legal counsel to ensure any action your business intends to take is in compliance with the applicable obligations of your jurisdiction.