CDC revises respiratory virus recommendations

    Authored by Bukaty Companies on April 23, 2024

    Last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for combating respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The CDC notes the new guidance reflects progress made in protecting against severe COVID-19 cases. With the peak pandemic days in the rearview mirror, the COVID-19 virus is settling into its new position as a common respiratory illness alongside the flu and RSV.

    The most notable CDC update is the elimination of a multi-day isolation period for COVID-19 cases. Formerly, individuals with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis isolated for five to 10 days. Now, individuals are advised to stay away from others when experiencing respiratory virus symptoms and resume normal activities when they have been fever-free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications. Other recommendations include social distancing and mask wearing for an additional five days.

    Recommended steps to prevent the virus from spreading include

    • receive updated vaccinations,
    • regularly wash hands,
    • cover sneezes and coughs,
    • sanitize high-traffic surfaces, and
    • improve indoor air quality.

    To help combat the spread of respiratory illnesses employers can

    • make disinfectants, hand sanitizer and masks readily available in the workplace,
    • clean high-touch areas frequently,
    • ensure ventilation systems are operating efficiently,
    • offer paid time off for employees to receive vaccinations, and
    • offer paid time off or teleworking options for employees who are sick.

    Ensure your organization is prepared in the wake of viral outbreaks by including a workplace infection prevention and control policy in your handbook. Consider outlining workplace sanitization and cleanliness standards and procedures, promoting respiratory etiquette, or providing flexible work policies in the event of a major outbreak. Preparation is an essential component to prevention. Connect with Bukaty Companies’ HR consultants to view a sample of prevention policy verbiage.


    Blog Category: Compliance