CDC return-to-work criteria for healthcare workers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are publisehd to guide administrative decision making.
If you are a healthcare professional (HCP) with confirmed COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19,* decisions about your return to work will be made based on your local circumstances.To guide those decisions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published interim guidance that includes return-to-work criteria, practices, and work restrictions to ensure HCP, patient, and public safety. The recommendations are summarized in the slides that follow.*(eg, developed symptoms of a respiratory infection [eg, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fever] but did not get tested for COVID-19).
Test-based strategy- Exclude from work until: Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and Improvement in respiratory symptoms (eg, cough, shortness of breath), and Negative results of an FDA EUA- authorized molecular assay for COVID-19 from at least 2 consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of 2 negative specimens.)
Non-test-based strategy- Exclude from work until: At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (eg, cough, shortness of breath); and, At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Best practices for HCPs after returning to work: Wear a facemask at all times while in the healthcare facility until all symptoms are completely resolved or until 14 days after illness onset, whichever is longer. Be restricted from contact with severely immunocompromised patients (eg, hematology-oncology, transplant) until14 days after illness onset.
Best practices for HCPs after returning to work: Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette in CDC’s interim infection control guidance (eg, cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in waste receptacles). Self-monitor for symptoms, and seek re-evaluation from occupational health if respiratory symptoms recur or worsen.
Healthcare systems, healthcare facilities, and the appropriate state, local, territorial, and/or tribal health authorities might determine that the recommended approaches cannot be followed due to the need to mitigate HCP staffing shortages.
In severe staffing shortage scenario: HCP should be evaluated by occupational health to determine appropriateness of earlier return to work than recommended above. If HCP return to work earlier than recommended above, they should still adhere to CDC Return to Work Practices and Work Restrictions recommendations.
Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages
Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)