Virginia Department of Health Sets New Ground Rules for Employees Returning to Work Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 18, 2020, the Virginia Department of Health (“VDH”) updated its guidance for the suggested time period and circumstances for individuals to discontinue isolation after having confirmed or suspected COVID-19.  Unlike the flu where the VDH suggested that individuals could discontinue isolation and return to work after a 24-hour period without a fever, the VDH recommends a longer fever-free period of time as well as additional symptom-free conditions.

The VDH provides the following guidance:

If you are sick and have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have been directed to isolate at home, you can stop home isolation under the following conditions:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.


As more information is learned about COVID-19, this guidance is subject to change so it is important for employers to regularly check VDH’s website for updates.

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