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When Should an Employee Return to Work After Having COVID-19?

a cafe owner wearing a maskCOVID-19 has swept across the country since the beginning of 2020 and has killed over 200,000 Americans at the time of writing. It’s an incredibly infectious virus that puts essential employees and their family members at risk every day.

It’s inevitable that certain essential employees will contract COVID-19 after coming into contact with the public on a daily basis. The key to controlling further spread of the virus is for sick individuals to quarantine themselves after getting sick. So, how long after contracting COVID-19 should you wait before returning to work?

Returning to Work After Contracting COVID-19

There are two main ways to prevent an infected person (or a person who is suspected to be infected) from spreading the virus to others: quarantine and isolation.

  • Quarantine: This involves keeping someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.
  • Isolation: This involves keeping someone who has been infected with the virus away from others, even in their own home.

People who have been infected with COVID-19 must isolate themselves at home except to get medical care. They must also take the following precautions:

  • Monitor their symptoms.
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other household members and pets.
  • Do not share personal household items.
  • Wear a mask when around other people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who contract COVID-19 may be with others after:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

However, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider before returning to work. Additionally, do not worry about losing out on pay during this time. In March 2020, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which requires certain public employers and most private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks of paid leave to employees with COVID-19.

If you contracted COVID-19 and your employer did not provide the paid leave that you deserve, our attorneys can help you recover just compensation.

Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920 to schedule a consultation.

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