DOH Revises Quarantine and Furlough Requirements for Health Care Personnel

April 1, 2021

On April 1, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) released its Revised Protocols for Personnel in Healthcare and Other Direct Care Settings to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure – Including Quarantine and Furlough Requirements for Different Healthcare Settings, which clarifies the rules for quarantine, furlough, and testing for health care personnel (HCP) exposed to COVID-19, including those who are fully vaccinated or recovered from previous COVID-19 infection. GNYHA encourages members to read the updated guidance carefully. A few highlights:

HCP with Exposure to COVID-19

  • Asymptomatic, unvaccinated HCP in hospital settings who have been exposed to COVID-19 may return to work after completing a 10-day quarantine without testing, subject to certain other conditions. (Nursing home HCP, however, must remain out of work through the 14th day after exposure.)
  • Asymptomatic, exposed HCP in hospital settings who are fully vaccinated (two weeks or more after last dose of vaccine, with no outer time limit) or who have recovered from recent SARS-CoV-2 infection within the past three months (within three months after the symptom onset date of first positive diagnostic test if asymptomatic during illness) are not required to test, quarantine, or take leave from work following exposure provided certain conditions are met. (Nursing home HCP must continue to participate in diagnostic COVID-19 testing twice per week or as otherwise required by DOH, among other requirements.)

HCP Following Travel

  • Asymptomatic HCP, arriving in New York State from other US states and territories, are not required to test or quarantine and may return to work accordingly
  • Quarantine following international travel consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations is still recommended unless the HCP is fully vaccinated or has recovered from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within the previous three months. CDC’s international travel requirements include showing proof of a negative diagnostic test result no more than three days before flight departure or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 prior to boarding, and quarantine for either seven days with a test three-five days after travel or for 10 days with no test. (Nursing home HCP must remain out of work through the 14th day after return from international travel unless they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection within the previous three months.)