Last week, CDPH issued AFL 21-08, providing quarantine guidance for health care personnel who may have been exposed to COVID-19. CHA requested this AFL to clearly articulate how CDPH views guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on this issue. Specifically, CDPH confirms it has adopted the CDC Guidance for Risk Assessment and Work Restrictions for Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure to COVID-19. CDPH has also adopted CDC guidance on Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages.
With respect to the recent CDC guidance allowing for shorter quarantine periods, the AFL clarifies that shorter quarantine periods are available if a hospital is experiencing a staffing shortage. Specifically, hospitals may allow exposed health care personnel to return to work after a seven-day quarantine if the hospital is facing a critical staffing shortage and the employee receives a negative PCR test result from a specimen collected after day 5. Additionally, the AFL clarifies that hospitals may continue to use CDC guidance for staffing shortage mitigation strategies to determine when it is appropriate to allow asymptomatic health care personnel with exposure but no known infection to continue to work on-site during their 14-day post-exposure period. Finally, the AFL also addresses quarantine issues for health care personnel working at skilled-nursing facilities.