Covid-19: can I return to work after isolating myself when I am still positive?

While the isolation rules have just evolved, a reader infected with Covid challenges us: can he return to work after his isolation when he is still positive? The General Directorate of Health reminds us of the protocol to follow.

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Can I return to work after seven days of isolation despite a positive self-test? My doctor says yes and that the negative test justification does not have to be given to the employer. You confirm ? “, asks Edith on The Voice answers you.

Isolation rules changed on January 3. Depending on the vaccination schedule, the isolation period varies between five and ten days. In contrast, there is no distinction between the variants.

Positive people should self-isolate seven days (against ten previously), if they are vaccinated. However, the lifting of the isolation is possible after five days with a negative test and in the absence of clinical signs of infection for 48 hours. If the test carried out on D+5 is positive or if this test is not carried out, the isolation remains for 7 days. The General Directorate of Health tells us that there is no new test to be carried out on D+7.

Unvaccinated people or people with an incomplete vaccination schedule should self-isolate for ten days. However, they will be able to leave isolation after seven days, if they meet the two conditions mentioned above. If the test is positive, isolation is maintained for 10 days. There is also no new test to be carried out on D+10.

The employee can therefore return to work after having respected the period of isolation. Namely seven to ten days, depending on his vaccination status. And including if it is positive. Testing positive seven days after infection does not mean you are contagious. ” In the immunocompetent, it should be considered that seven days after the onset of the signs, if the patient is well and is clinically cured, he is no longer contagious. PCR can detect RNA long enough without the patient necessarily being contagious “Explains Vanessa Escuret, from the National Reference Center for Respiratory Infection Viruses in Lyon.

In any case, it is advisable to continue to scrupulously respect barrier gesturesespecially the most vulnerable.

Must proof be provided to the employer?

An employer cannot require his employee who resumes his activity after having been isolated – whether he is a positive case or a contact case -, a medical certificate or a negative test. The Ministry of Labor also indicates it in black and white in a document intended for companies.

Moreover, the employer cannot impose on its employees a temperature measurement or a screening test and sanction them if they refuse. Nor even require to inform him of the results of the tests or to keep the possible results.

Questions ?

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