New York State’s Updated Interim Isolation and Quarantine GuidanceJanuary 5, 2022
On January 4, 2022, the New York State Department of Health (“NYSDOH”) released interim updated isolation and quarantine guidance for the general population (the “Interim Guidance”). Previous guidance by the NYSDOH issued on December 24, 2021, allowed for shorter isolation periods for healthcare workers and essential workers. Now, in alignment with updated CDC recommendations, the Interim Guidance allows for shortened isolation and quarantine requirements for the general population.
The Interim Guidance makes the following recommendations regarding isolation:
- Isolate for 5 days, where day 0 is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen.
- If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and the individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
- Individuals who are moderately-severely immunocompromised should continue to follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.
- Individuals who are unable to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after a 5-day isolation should also follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.
The Interim Guidance makes the following recommendations regarding quarantine for individuals who were exposed to COVID-19, where day 0 is the last date of exposure:
- If not fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but not yet boosted, quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
- If fully vaccinated and boosted (with the booster at least 2 weeks before the first date of exposure) or not yet eligible for a booster, no quarantine is required but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
- If possible, test at day 5 with either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT, e.g., PCR) or antigen test.
- If symptoms appear, quarantine and seek testing. In this situation, quarantine would end when the test is negative. If testing is not done, isolate according to the guidance above.
The CDC is expected to release additional guidance for schools and congregate care settings in the coming days. Until then, schools and non-healthcare congregate care settings should continue to follow local health department guidance. If there is no local health department guidance, schools should follow current New York State school guidance regarding school attendance; non-healthcare congregate care settings should follow standard (i.e., not shortened) guidance for return-to-work for infected or exposed personnel unless there is a staff shortage. If there is a staff shortage in a nonhealthcare congregate care setting, meaning there is an inability to provide essential services as determined by the entity, it may follow the shortened timeframes of the Interim Guidance.
If you have questions regarding any implications of this Interim Guidance and its potential effect on your higher education institution, school, or business, feel free to contact Jennifer A. McLaughlin at (516) 357-3889 or firstname.lastname@example.org, James G. Ryan at (516) 357-3750 or email@example.com, Jennifer E. Seeba at (516) 296-9173 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dina L. Vespia at (516) 357-3726 or email@example.com.
Thank you to Michelle Artiles for her assistance with this client alert.
Please note that this is a general overview of developments in the law and does not constitute legal advice. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship between the sender and recipient.