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CDC to ease back-to-work rules for people who self-isolate after coronavirus contact

Published Apr 8th, 2020 4:26PM EDT
Coronavirus USA
Image: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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  • The CDC is expected to issue new back-to-work guidelines for essential personnel who may have been self-isolating at home after coming in contact with a coronavirus case.
  • People might be able to return to work after 14 days of isolation, but they’ll have to wear masks and check their temperatures twice a day.
  • The new rules will mimic the regulation for medical workers who’ve been exposed to COVID-19 patients without wearing protective equipment.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

The best way to avoid the novel coronavirus is to stay at home for as long as possible. Wash your hands often, disinfect surfaces, and wear face masks of any kind when going out for supplies. If you think you’ve come in contact with COVID-19 patients, you should go into self-isolation for two weeks and keep an eye out for symptoms. This could impact your work, but it’s a recommendation that can save lives.

Social distancing will limit the spread of the virus and prevent the collapse of hospitals, but some people still have to go to work, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is about to loosen back-to-work guidelines for people who have been isolating themselves after being exposed to the virus.

Vice President Pence said on Tuesday that the CDC will make it easier for some people to return to work.

The new guidelines would allow people who have been exposed to someone infected to return to work if they’re asymptomatic, The Associated Press has learned from a person familiar with the proposal. The people will also have to wear a face mask and test their temperature twice a day under the new rules.

The new guidelines target employees at critical jobs and follow recommendations made by the CDC for medical workers who were exposed to the virus. Healthcare professionals who treated patients without equipment and who showed no symptoms after 14 days were allowed to return to work under the same rules: Use masks, which is mandatory for anyone treating COVID-19 patients, and temperature checks.

The new proposal targets essential personnel for other services, but could be a basis for recommendations that could apply to the general public in the future.

“Some of the best minds here at the White House are beginning to think about what recommendations will look like that we give to businesses, that we give to states, but it will all, I promise you, be informed on putting the health and well-being of the American people first,” Pence said.

The novel coronavirus has killed more than 83,000 people around the world, of which almost 13,000 have been in the US. The global case count reached 1.416 million as of Wednesday morning, of which some 400,000 cases were registered in the United States.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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