New York Governor Kathy Hochul said Friday that essential, fully vaccinated, asymptomatic workers can return to work five days after a positive case. However, unvaccinated workers will have to quarantine for 10 days.
She says new guidelines are essential to sustaining the workforce during the omicron spike.
“We want to secure our critical workforce, who we’ve relied on in the first place, and I want to make sure that our workers can come back,” Hochul said. “That includes our healthcare, aged care, home health, hygiene, groceries, pharmacies, restaurants, you know who you are.”
Hochul said she wants to wait and see for guidance from the CDC, who on Thursday eased rules calling for healthcare workers to take 10 days off work if they test positive.
The CDC determined that workers will be allowed to return to work after seven days if the test results are negative and there are no symptoms, while the quarantine period can be reduced to five days, or even less, if there is a serious shortage of personnel.
The new announcement comes after the state set another record for new positive COVID cases with 44,431.
The good news is that the state recorded only 4,744 new hospitalizations statewide.
“With so much testing, the vantage point is where we’re dealing with cases and how can we control that spread,” Hochul said. “We hope many of those who test positive will show no symptoms or even just so mild symptoms that they won’t need to go to the hospital or even see a doctor. .”
The governor also announced a new milestone on Christmas Eve. She said 95% of adults over 18 have now received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. However, she emphasizes that one dose is not enough.
Hochul emphasized the importance of COVID testing, announcing that 13 more testing sites will be up and running on December 29, “although finding staff is a challenge.”
“To weather this winter spike and protect New Yorkers, we will use every tool at our disposal,” Hochul said. “By mobilizing testing sites across the state, we will ensure testing is more accessible and convenient for New Yorkers.”
Beginning Monday, December 27, New Yorkers can book a COVID-19 test appointment at one of the locations Online.
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Meanwhile in New York City, 259 new hospitalizations were reported along with 12,915 new COVID cases.
The city said it plans to hand out more home tests on Friday after giving away thousands across five counties on Thursday.
People waited in long lines to get their hands on one of the coveted tests.
Five more locations will offer 2,000 tests – one in each county.
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https://abc7ny.com/essential-workers-ny-return-to-work-covid-testing-cases/11381215/ Omicron NY COVID Update: New York unveils shorter return-to-work guidelines for healthcare workers who test positive