When Family or Household Members Test Positive

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– A more challenging question is how to handle cases where an employee’s family or household member tests positive for COVID-19. San Bernardino County Public Health officials recommend a Symptom- and Time-Based Approach to handling these cases, as opposed to needing multiple negative test results in order to return to work.

If an employee has a household member who tests positive, the first step is to determine whether the employee had prolonged exposure in the prior two days to the infected person. If not, the individual may continue to work as long as they can avoid close contact with the infected household member. Nonetheless, the employee should still carefully monitor him- or herself for symptoms and immediately contact their healthcare provider if symptoms develop.

On the other hand, if an employee has had prolonged exposure to an infected person, then he or she should remain at home under quarantine until 14 days after the infected household member has been released from isolation (i.e., confirmed to be non-infectious). In such cases the employee should be allowed to work remotely if at all possible.

If the employee develops no symptoms during this period, they may return to work 14 days after the infected individual has been released from isolation. If the employee does develop symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider, who will likely arrange a test. If the employee tests positive, they should follow the guidelines outlined previously (stay home, self-quarantine for at least 10 days, have no fever, etc.). If the employee’s test results are negative, they should continue to quarantine until 14 days after the infected household member is released from isolation.

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