Client Alert March 5, 2024 Dominic T. Clolinger

CDC Updates and Simplifies COVID-19 Recommendations

On March 1, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued new “Respiratory Virus Guidance” which supplants its prior guidance related to COVID-19.  CDC guidance is relevant to employers because, as noted by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“MIOSHA”), employers are subject to MIOSHA’s General Duty Clause.  Per MIOSHA, under the General Duty Clause, “employers are expected to make reasonable efforts to protect their employees from pandemic hazards measured against Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.”

Importantly, the updated guidance rescinds the 5-day minimum isolation period recommended by prior guidance.  Rather, the updated Respiratory Virus Guidance recommends that “people stay home and away from others until at least 24 hours after both their symptoms are getting better overall, and they have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).”  Further, the updated Respiratory Virus Guidance clarifies that testing is not required.  The updated Respiratory Virus Guidance does not apply to healthcare settings.

With simplified CDC guidance, an employer’s obligations under MIOSHA’s General Duty Clause are reduced.  Employers with questions regarding MIOSHA’s General Duty Clause or compliance with CDC guidance in the workplace should contact Nikole CanuteNate WolfScott DwyerDominic Clolinger, or Kathryn Stegink as soon as practicable.

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