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Apr 2021
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April 08, 2021

MDHHS Reinstates 14-day Quarantine Period for Close Contact with COVID-19

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, effective April 5, 2021, which reinstated the standard 14-day quarantine period for individuals who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19. The decision to extend the quarantine period from 10 to 14 days was attributed to increasing case rates and variant spread in Michigan.
 
As we previously reported in early December (see our December 4 eAlert here and our follow-up eAlert here), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on when individuals should quarantine after potential exposure to COVID-19. In particular, the CDC continued to recommend a 14-day quarantine period, but allowed local public health authorities to elect between two options that would reduce this period for asymptomatic individuals. MDHHS announced on December 4, 2020, that it was electing the CDC’s 10-day quarantine option for close contact. Although this was initially at odds with Michigan Public Act 2020-238, which mandated a 14-day period, Enrolled Senate Bill 1258 resolved the discrepancy later that month by deferring to CDC guidance. Now that MDHHS has returned to the standard 14-day quarantine period, employees are again legally mandated to stay home for 14 days following close contact with someone with COVID-19 unless otherwise advised by a health care provider or public health professional. As a reminder, however, asymptomatic employees who are fully vaccinated, or who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months and recovered, are not subject to quarantine. Employers should update their COVID-19 preparedness plans, policies and procedures accordingly.
 
For a refresher on COVID-19 isolation and quarantine requirements, tune in Tuesday afternoon, April 13, for a new episode of Employment News from the Law Shanty, or contact your Warner employment attorney.

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