Updated return to work guidance, effective May 27

May 26, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

As cases of COVID-19 are once again on the rise, Michigan Medicine is implementing the below recommendations for return to work in health care facilities after COVID-19 infection or exposure. These recommendations were implemented earlier this year amid a surge in cases, and follow criteria previously outlined by the CDC. More information is available on the CDC website.

These changes, outlined below, will go into effect Friday, May 27, 2022. The changes apply to all employees working in U-M Health facilities.

Return to work after testing positive for COVID-19

Health care workers may return to work on day 6 after a positive COVID-19 test if all of the following criteria are met:

  • No fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications
  • Asymptomatic or symptoms improving (e.g. shortness of breath resolved, cough resolved or minimal)
  • Negative COVID-19 antigen test collected on day 5  

Health care workers with a positive antigen test at day 5 should retest at day 7 and if test is negative may return to work at day 8.

Health care workers with a positive test at day 7 should remain off work for 10 days. 

Health care workers who have ongoing symptoms and are unable to return to work should follow the guidance they receive from Occupational Health Services (OHS).

Health care workers who return to work before 10 days must wear a medical mask at all times. It they must remove their mask in order to eat or drink, they should separate themselves from others. 

Return to work after exposure to COVID-19

Unvaccinated health care workers required to quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19 may return to work on day 8 following the exposure if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Asymptomatic
  • Negative COVID-19 antigen test collected on day 7  

As a reminder, vaccinated employees are not required to quarantine following an exposure, but should get post-exposure testing through the U-M Community Sampling and Tracking Program (CSTP).

Specific instructions regarding COVID-19 antigen testing for return to work, including how to obtain a free antigen test, are available on the OHS website. In addition, employees who test positive for COVID-19 will receive information about antigen testing in a direct communication from OHS. Updated information about testing, isolation and quarantine for all employees is available on the OHS website.

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