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Dos and Don'ts for returning to work after testing positive for the coronavirus

The CDC said an employee no longer needs '2 negatives' at the end of their quarantine.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There are still lots of questions coming about the guidelines for returning to work and what the rules are for employers who have an employee that tests positive. Here's what Nueces County Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez had to say:

"Don't require staff to get retested to come back. The CDC, back in April, said you do not have to have two negatives any more you can do the non-testing symptom strategy. Don't ask staff to give proof they are positive. They don't need that. There is no reason for it. If they told you they are positive, they are positive."

  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay in isolation for 14 days.
  • If you start to feel sick during the work day, go home. If possible, notify your employer by phone as you walk to your car. Don't go to their office and possibly spread the virus.
  • Employers, do not ask a COVID-19 positive employee to come back to work prior to their 14 day quarantine even if they feel better.
  • Don't require the staff to get re-tested to come back to work. The CDC said an employee no longer needs '2 negatives' at the end of their quarantine.
  • Don't ask staff to get proof that they tested positive. If you don't believe them, you can call the health district and verify.
  • Don't require a release letter from a doctor to go back to work. Keep in mind doctors are extremely busy right now and there is no reason to get a release letter. The recovery is 14 days. On day 15 they can go back to work unless they are still feeling sick.

Additional highlights from Thursday's public news briefing. 

  • 2 additional deaths, 343 COVID-19 cases in Nueces County. Here's a breakdown of cases in the Coastal Bend.
  • 4,739 active cases (91-percent), 493 recoveries. 
  • +30 patients hospitalized, 332 total.
  • City Council scheduled a special meeting Wednesday evening that focused on COVID-19 and the City's response to it. 
  • For free coronavirus testing by appointment call (512) 883-3400.
  • 91 out of 207 people tested positive at the drive-thru testing site today.
  • Gov. Abbott expands suspension of elective surgeries in more Texas counties.
  • Nueces County Medical Examiner has requested a FEMA Mobile Morgue unit - a refrigerated trailer which can house the deceased when the county has reached its capacity. Body bags have also been requested. 
  • 96 nurses have been sent to area hospitals to help with the coronavirus surge.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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