Covid-19 response

What if a staff member needs to quarantine?

  • 1.  What if a staff member needs to quarantine?

    Posted 12-10-2020 13:17
    Edited by Timothy Atkinson 01-05-2021 12:21
    Ideally an exposed staff member should quarantine for the full 14 days from their last exposure to a positive case, or positive test. (CDC recently changed the recommendation for quarantine to be only 10 days, and  NYS Department of Health have adopted that but both CDC and NYS still say that 14 days is ideal.)
    Veterinary hospitals are considered essential businesses, but when we think about essential workers the public-health officials use a hierarchy:
    1. Is the business essential?
    Yes, veterinary practices are essential (
    2. Is the job function of the exposed worker essential?
    To get at this, think about what happens if that employee goes on vacation. Does the practice shut down or can they make due for that period of time when the employee is away? Perhaps there can be cross training.
    3. Can the position be backfilled?
    DVMs and LVTs are essential to running a veterinary hospital. Are there other staff that can fill in for someone on quarantine?
    Public-health officials I spoke to advise that before bringing someone back early from quarantines as an essential worker, think about the consequences of more staff being potentially exposed to the virus if those contacts end up becoming ill. As case numbers rise (and they likely will for several months), this is a critical decision point.
    Even if you do bring back someone who has been exposed the virus as an essential worker, there are some safety protocols you should follow, including regular temperature monitoring, wearing a mask at all times, staying 6 feet from others, disinfection etc. Read the guidelines for full details.

    Tim Atkinson
    Albany NY