Dec 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New York cuts essential worker quarantine times in half

Woman with facemask walking on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Photo by Victor J. Blue/Getty Images

New York's essential workers now can return to work just five days after receiving a positive COVID-19 test, so long as they're vaccinated and asymptomatic.

Why it matters: The revised rules cuts quarantine time in half from 10 days and come as New York has struggled to maintain staffing levels within a variety of industries, including health care, food services, and transportation.

Between the lines: Governor Kathy Hochul said in a Friday briefing that the move was based on early indications that infections from Omicron are less severe than from the original COVID-19 strain or the Delta variant.

  • State health officials reported more than 44,400 positive cases on Thursday, the most ever. The 10.2% positivity rate, on a 7-day rolling average, also was an all-time high.
  • State officials said that the new rules came after the CDC released new guidance reducing the quarantine time for health care workers from 10 to seven days.

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