On Oct. 11, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released All Facilities Letter (AFL) 21-08.5, updating prior guidance on return to work for health care personnel with COVID-19.
It makes one technical revision, which is that during critical staffing shortages, asymptomatic unvaccinated health care personnel may return to work after day 7 from the date of last exposure if they have received a negative PCR or other molecular test result from a specimen collected on day 5 or later.
The prior AFL stated that the specimen needed to be collected after day 5. This clarifies that the specimen can be collected on day 5 or later, allowing the specimen to be collected one day sooner. This reflects guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was updated Sept. 10.