Solano County: COVID patients may return to work after 10 days, even with ‘lingering symptoms’SFGATE, by Alyssa Pereira, August 5, 2020
Solano County issued new guidance to residents Tuesday, stating that employees in the county who test positive for COVID-19 may return to work after isolating for 10 days, whether or not they continue to exhibit symptoms of the disease caused by the virus. Typical symptoms may include coughing, fever, or respiratory issues.
“Anyone who tested positive and has isolated for 10 days from the date that their symptoms began is no longer infectious, even if some may have lingering symptoms,” said Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Health Officer. “We understand that businesses have concerns about employees returning to the workplace; however, re-testing is unnecessary to prove that employees can no longer spread the disease. Once the 10-day isolation has been completed, employees may return to work.”
Matyas added that there is no need for that person to re-test at the end of the 10-day isolation, as “most people with confirmed COVID-19 will continue to have positive test results for several weeks.”
Solano County’s guidance is not completely in line with assessments of the virus by the Centers for Disease Control. A survey of available data found that people with “mild to moderate” COVID-19 symptoms are infectious for no longer than 10 days. However, those with more serious “severe to critical” symptoms have been found to be contagious up to “20 days after symptom onset.”
Additionally, the CDC recommends that a person who tests positive for the disease and exhibits symptoms may end isolation after 10 days if their fever has returned to normal for at least 24 hours and other symptoms have improved.
“These findings strengthen the justification for relying on a symptom based, rather than test-based strategy for ending isolation of these patients, so that persons who are by current evidence no longer infectious are not kept unnecessarily isolated and excluded from work or other responsibilities,” the CDC added.