California Eases COVID-19 Isolation and Testing Guidelines

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On January 9, 2024, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued a new State Public Health Officer Order for COVID-19 Disease Control and Prevention. In response to this updated public health guidance, Cal/OSHA has revised its policies concerning isolating and testing requirements for employers. Here are three key changes employers should be aware of:

  1. The “infectious period” definition of a COVID-19 case has changed. The “infectious period” is now defined as follows:
    1. For symptomatic confirmed cases, from the day of symptom onset until 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND symptoms are mild AND improving.
    2. For asymptomatic confirmed cases, there is no infectious period for the purpose of isolation or exclusion. If symptoms develop, the criteria above will apply.
  2. Cal/OSHA and CDPH announced that COVID-19 cases without symptoms no longer need to be isolated for five (5) days. Instead, they must wear a mask for ten (10) days while indoors.
  3. CDPH no longer recommends testing for all close contacts. Instead, testing is now recommended for (1) individuals experiencing new COVID-19 symptoms, (2) close contacts at higher risk of severe disease, and (3) individuals who have had contact with people at higher risk of severe disease. Nevertheless, employers are still required to provide COVID-19 testing at no cost and during paid time for all employees, excluding those who are asymptomatic and have recently recovered from COVID-19.

For more information on California’s updated COVID-19 requirements and steps you can take for compliance, please contact us at

This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.