On May 13, 2021, the CDC issued important updates to its guidance regarding fully vaccinated individuals. The updated guidance now states that individuals who are “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 (i.e., two weeks have passed from receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or from receipt of a single-dose vaccine) no longer need to wear a mask or practice social distancing in any setting, except where required by federal, state, or local laws, rules, or regulations.  The CDC’s guidance further states that fully vaccinated people can generally refrain from testing and quarantining following exposure to COVID-19, as long as they are asymptomatic.  Fully vaccinated individuals with no COVID-19-like symptoms and no known exposure can also be exempted from routine testing, if feasible.  By contrast, the CDC guidance states that individuals who are not “fully vaccinated” should continue to take prevention measures.

While the CDC’s updated guidance is a welcome development for employers who are reopening offices, employers should continue to carefully consult health and safety standards issued by OSHA and state and local health departments.  For example, New York’s reopening guidance for office-based employers does not presently distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.  Earlier today, Governor Cuomo announced that the state is carefully reviewing the CDC’s revised guidance and may update its reopening requirements.

We will continue to monitor and report on any important changes to office reopening requirements.

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Photo of Evandro Gigante Evandro Gigante

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents and counsels clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of…

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents and counsels clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of race, gender, national origin, disability and religious discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, defamation and breach of contract. Evandro also counsels employers through reductions-in-force and advises clients on restrictive covenant issues, such as confidentiality, non-compete and non-solicit agreements.

With a focus on discrimination and harassment matters, Evandro has extensive experience representing clients before federal and state courts. He has tried cases in court and before arbitrators and routinely represents clients before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state and local human rights commissions.

Photo of Julia Hollreiser Julia Hollreiser

Julia Hollreiser is a law clerk in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.