New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that fully vaccinated essential workers who test positive for Covid-19 can return to their jobs after a shorter quarantine period.
Hochul said fully vaccinated workers can return to work in five days if they have no symptoms and no fever for 72 hours. She added that those workers will still have to wear masks.
While Hochul didn’t explicitly specify who counts as essential workers, she says it includes those working in healthcare, sanitation, grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants. .
“We want to make sure that our critical workforce, on whom we have relied from the beginning – and whose heart goes out with gratitude – that our workers can return. And that includes our healthcare, aged care, home healthcare, sanitation, groceries, pharmacies, restaurants – you know who you are,” Hochul said. “You know you’re the one who got us through our first months of anxiety. We need you again, we need you to get to work. ”
The governor said the new guidance is a state adaptation of recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on Omicron and its differences from previous variations.
“This is not Delta; This is not the first variant. This is Omicron, which has so far demonstrated, as we have tracked globally and elsewhere that it first hit, that its impact is not so severe,” Hochul said.
Hochul also announced a major milestone in the Empire State vaccination campaign. The governor said 95% of New Yorkers over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. She urged all New Yorkers to get the full initial vaccine and booster shot, saying three shots are more effective against the Omicron coronavirus variant.