DOH Advisories on Returning to Work and Ending Quarantine for COVID-19 Exposure

Situation Report | January 4, 2021

On December 26, the state Department of Health (DOH) posted two guidances — one on health care personnel returning to work after a COVID-19 exposure or travel outside of New York State or its contiguous states and one on releasing individuals from quarantine as a result of COVID-19 exposure.

The guidances also address health care personnel and the COVID-19 paid sick leave law.

According to the first guidance, asymptomatic health care personnel who have been in contact with (i.e., exposed to) a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 within the past 10 days may return to work after a 10-day quarantine without testing if no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period, providing that the personnel:

  • Continues daily symptom monitoring through day 14.
  • Are counseled to continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of appropriate face coverings.
  • Are advised that, if any symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local public health authority or their health care provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.

Health care personnel who travel outside of New York State (beyond contiguous states) should adhere to the essential worker requirements in the Department’s November 3, 2020 travel guidance when not at work and must seek diagnostic testing on day 4.

HCA has received numerous inquiries from members about the adverse effect these guidances will have on delivering care and has reached out to DOH for further discussion.