California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a new guidance document aligned with current CDC guidelines, including reducing the quarantine period from 14 to 10 days for asymptomatic individuals that experienced close contact with a COVID-19 case, defined as fewer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes. Additionally, via Executive Order N-84-20, Governor Newsom applied similar changes to the Emergency Temporary Standard concerning COVID-19 Prevention. Neither the CDPH guidance document or Executive Order N-84-20 require employee testing prior to returning to the workplace.

New CDPH guidance is subject to ongoing monitoring for symptoms and wearing masks, for the entire 14 day duration, as well as observing other basic safety practices. Should symptoms occur, individuals should immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health department or health care provider to get a test. In addition, the guidance document provides that critical infrastructure workers in the healthcare sector may potentially return after 7 days if they have a negative PCR test after day 5.

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order applies current CDPH guidance to the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standard pertaining to workplace exclusion (section 3205(c)(10)) and return to work (3205(c)(11)), provided local public health orders do not require more stringent action.

What this means to you:

  • Those without any COVID-19 symptoms may discontinue their quarantine after 10 days from their last exposure without testing.
  • Exposed but asymptomatic health care, emergency response and social services workers who work in the child welfare system may return to work during staffing shortages after day 7 from the date of their last exposure, as long as they have had a PCR test performed after day 5 and a negative result.