On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention modified its guidance on quarantine recommendations for fully vaccinated persons who have been potentially exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Under prior guidance, those who have had close contact (defined as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with a potentially infected person should quarantine for up to 14 days.
Under the new guidance, CDC says that fully vaccinated people (meaning those who have had both doses of the approved Moderna or Pfizer vaccine) do not need to quarantine if the second dose was administered within the last three months. Apparently, the CDC is not certain yet whether the vaccines provide adequate protection to avoid quarantine beyond three months.
Based on this guidance, employers can ask potentially exposed employees whether they have been fully vaccinated within this time period. If so, these employees could be excluded from quarantine requirements imposed on other workers. The CDC did not change its recommendations for mask wearing, social distancing, or other transmission prevention measures, whether or not the person in question has been vaccinated. These recommendations are likely to change as more information regarding the effects of the vaccines is made available.