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California Rolls Back COVID-19 Isolation Guidelines

Updated: Feb 20

driving to a COVID-19 screening site

California employers may welcome changes to isolation guidelines for individuals infected with COVID-19, after the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) quietly rescinded the state's previous advice encouraging anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 to isolate for at least five days.

Return to work sooner:

New guidance allows Californians with COVID to return to work as long as their symptoms are improving and they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive are not considered infectious and do not need to isolate, according to the new CDPH recommendations.

No changes to guidance on masking or infectious period:


CDPH continues to recommend that individuals with COVID wear masks for 10 days, or until the individual has tested negative 2 days in a row (whichever is sooner). This guidance applies regardless of whether the individual is experiencing symptoms.

Infectious period

Per CDPH, the potential infectious period begins 2 days before the onset of symptoms or positive test, and ends 10 days after the date of symptoms/positive test.

It's ok to show compassion!

If your employees are out sick (with any illness), remember that it's ok to send them a quick message checking in to see how they're doing. Don't ask them about work or expect a response right away, but remember that a little empathy can go a long way towards building relationships with employees that promote trust and reliability.

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