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TDH: Negative test not necessary to return to work after COVID-19

The Tennessee Department of Health now recommends that individuals infected with COVID-19 should isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days (including 72 hours symptom-free).

Reports indicate that there is no requirement to have a negative laboratory result to be released from isolation, as long as these time and symptom criteria are met. In other words, you don’t have to test negative to return to work, as long as you follow the Department of Health guidelines.

State Epodemiologist John Dunn says, “When an individual has a positive laboratory result indicating current infection with COVID19, TDH requires them to isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days (and they must be afebrile and well for at least 24 hours). There is no requirement to have a negative laboratory result to be released from isolation, as long as these time and symptom criteria are met.”

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The steps suggested by officials in the Volunteer State are consistent with the CDC’s recommended time-based strategy. Click here to learn more. 

There is substantial evidence that an individual may continue to have positive laboratory results beyond their infectious period. As long as the individual recovers and remains asymptomatic after recovery, the stated does not recommend retesting for COVD-19 within the 3 months from the initial onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

Dunn said in a letter, “We strongly recommend that businesses implement measures to reduce the risk of transmission within the workplace: encourage all to wear cloth face masks, screen employees for symptoms upon entry, require individuals to stay home when they are ill, and socially distance within the workplace.”

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