Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) announced Friday that she will shorten the quarantine period for those who have tested positive for COVID-19. According to The Associated Press, workers who have been fully vaccinated in frontline industries like health care are now allowed to return to work five days after being given the state’s new guidelines. This is instead of the previous requirement of 10 days.
Hochul spoke at a briefing at Albany’s New York State Capitol. Hochul said that such workers must either be asymptomatic or show resolving symptoms. They should also not have a fever for more than 72 hours and not be taking any medication.
Hochul stated, “We want to ensure that our critical workforce whom we’ve relied upon from the beginning…that our workers can get back.” Hochul stated, “And that includes our healthcare, elder care, pharmacy services, restaurants, and sanitation — you know who you are. “We need your help again. We need you to be able to go to work.”
Hochul also supported her administration’s response in the face of the continuing pandemic caused by the spread of the Omicron variant.
Hochul stated that they will continue spreading holiday cheer and not COVID. We will keep the doors open. We will do the right thing, but we won’t be complacent. My friends, we are going to win this battle. We’re smart. This is what we know. We aren’t closing down businesses. Schools are not being closed.”
Hochul’s policy is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, which recommended on Thursday that COVID-19-positive health care workers can resume work after a weeklong quarantine.
“Our goal is to keep patients and healthcare staff safe and to reduce undue burdens on healthcare facilities. “Prevention is our priority. I urge all healthcare workers to get vaccinated.” Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, stated.