Return to Work Criteria for HCP with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 (Symptomatic)
Use one of the below strategies to determine when HCP may return to work in healthcare settings.
- Symptom-based Strategy - Exclude from work until:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
- At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- Test-based Strategy (Employees requiring the test-based strategy will be determined by Infectious Disease or COVID Call Center) - Exclude from work until:
- Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
- Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID-19 from at least two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens)
Note: It is possible for an HCP to have resolution of fever x 72 hours, but with symptoms that persist that are improved (e.g., mild cough). These HCPs can return if 10 days have passed since onset of illness, with mask (see below).
Return to Work Practices and Work Restrictions
After returning to work, HCP should:
- Always wear a face mask while in the healthcare facility until all symptoms are completely resolved or until 14 days after illness onset, whichever is longer.
- Be restricted from contact with severely immunocompromised patients (e.g., transplant, hematology/oncology) until 14 days after illness onset.
- Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette.
- Self-monitor for symptoms, and seek reevaluation from occupational health if respiratory symptoms recur or worsen.
Last updated May 1, 2020