Now that vaccinations for COVID-19 are available and being rolled out, employers are confronted with how, or if, to address the vaccination of their employees. One such concern deals with how to handle employees who were vaccinated and then exposed to COVID-19. Employers can ask their employees for proof of vaccination and then follow the guidance detailed below.
On February 10 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued specific guidance with regard to this topic. The CDC advised that: vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
Are fully vaccinated (meaning that it has been more than 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or being more than 2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Additionally, CDC recommends that vaccinated persons continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.
On February 11 New York State Governor Cuomo along with the New York State Health Commissioner issued a statement indicating that New York will update their guidance regarding exposure for vaccinated individuals to reflect the CDC’s guidance. Governor Cuomo also indicated that “All New Yorkers, including those who have been fully vaccinated, should continue to wear masks, social distance, and be smart until herd immunity is reached and this pandemic is fully relegated to the history books.”