August 24, 2020 Less than a minute read

State health official advises against requiring negative tests for employees returning to work who complete quarantine, no longer have symptoms

For some workers who are sent home from their job with a positive COVID-19 test, have completed the appropriate isolation period, and are now asymptomatic, their employers are still requiring them to get a confirmed negative test result before letting them return to the job. These tests can be difficult to obtain in a timely manner, and puts undue hardship on the business, the worker and testing facilities.

In a July 27 advisory, Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) Director Randall Williams assured employers that a negative test is not necessary for an individual to return to work if they have completed the appropriate amount of isolation time and no longer have symptoms.

If those two factors have occurred, DHSS does not recommend that employers require a negative COVID-19 test to bring back a previously ill employee.

“Available data indicate that persons with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain

infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset,” Williams wrote. “Persons with more severe to critical illness or are severely immunocompromised likely remain infectious no longer than 20 days after symptom onset.”

Read the full advisory from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services here.


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