The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer recommending a test-based strategy for healthcare personnel who had COVID-19 and are trying to return to work.
The change was a part of an update this week to its return-to-work criteria for healthcare professionals (HCP) with the disease. The CDC said it’s no longer recommending the strategy because, in a majority of cases, “it results in excluding from work HCP who continue to shed detectable [COVID-19] but are no longer infectious.”
The CDC is still recommending a symptom-based strategy for returning workers. The criteria includes having workers wait at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, at least 24 hours have passed since their last fever without the use of medications, and symptoms have improved.
The agency noted that a test-based strategy for determining when workers can return to the job could be considered in some instances if the symptom-based strategy was used, too.
“A test-based strategy could also be considered for some HCP in consultation with local infectious diseases experts if concerns exist for the HCP being infectious for more than 20 days,” the agency wrote.