Since September 2021, and as explained in our prior post, Executive Order 13G and Implementation Guidance for Executive Order 13G issued by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (“DPH Guidance”) have required school boards to comply with various requirements regarding COVID-19 vaccination, exemption, and testing for covered workers.  In the weeks leading up to, and during, the winter break, there were several important updates to the DPH Guidance as a result of the prevalence of the Omicron variant, the high demand for COVID-19 testing, and a focus on prioritizing testing for symptomatic individuals, which we previously summarized here.

On January 6, 2022, in light of developments in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and clinical testing shortages stemming from an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate, the DPH issued an Amendment to Implementation Guidance for Executive Order 13G (the “Amended DPH Guidance”), which addresses changes to testing requirements, documentation of test results, and protocols for return to work after a positive COVID-19 test result.  Specifically, the Amended DPH Guidance reiterates certain provisions from the DPH Guidance and includes the following changes:

Testing Requirements

  • Covered workers who are subject to weekly testing do not have to test when teleworking for 100% of the weekly testing period, but such individuals must submit a test result before returning to their worksite.
  • Home or self-testing with an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 test kit now constitutes an acceptable method to comply with the weekly testing requirements for workers who are exempt from or opted out from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Testing Documentation

  • A positive test result from home or self-testing with an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 test kit is acceptable proof of COVID-19 infection. However, for individuals seeking a temporary waiver from the testing requirement on the basis of being infected with COVID-19, the individual’s healthcare provider must still complete a temporary waiver request and may note that the individual has provided the provider proof of a positive test result from such a COVID-19 test kit on the form as part of their certification.

Return to Work After Receiving a Positive COVID-19 Test Result

  • Any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 should (1) contact their medical provider to seek advice for disease management, and (2) contact their human resources designee to report their positive test result.
  • Based on recently updated CDC guidance, it is now recommended that, regardless of their vaccination status, individuals who have had COVID-19:
    • isolate for 5 days;
    • return to work and other activities on day 6 or later, provided they have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are improving;
    • continue to wear a mask at work and maintain distance around others for the 5 days following return to work;
    • stay at home if still sick after 5 days and follow district guidance for absence from work for a period of 14 days; and
    • continue to observe all masking and social distancing protocols that are in effect in schools and school-sponsored activities.

For questions regarding the Amended DPH Guidance, please contact Jessica Richman Smith, jsmith@goodwin.com, Andy Bellach, abellach@goodwin.com, Natalia Siera Millán, nsieiramillan@goodwin.com or Dori Pagé Antonetti, dantonetti@goodwin.com.

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Photo of Dori Pagé Antonetti Dori Pagé Antonetti

Dori Antonetti is an associate in the School Law Practice Group. She advises public school districts on a variety of general education, special education, and labor and employment issues.

Prior to joining Shipman & Goodwin, Dori worked as a Hearing Review Officer for…

Dori Antonetti is an associate in the School Law Practice Group. She advises public school districts on a variety of general education, special education, and labor and employment issues.

Prior to joining Shipman & Goodwin, Dori worked as a Hearing Review Officer for the New York City Office of Labor Relations. Dori also clerked for Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Before law school, Dori joined Teach for America and worked as a bilingual kindergarten teacher in Spanish Harlem.

Dori is proficient in Spanish.

Photo of Andreana R. Bellach Andreana R. Bellach

Andreana represents boards of education in education law matters, labor relations and employment law, including labor negotiations for certified and non-certified staff, grievance arbitration, freedom of information hearings, student disciplinary matters, special education disputes, and education policies and practices. Andreana frequently speaks on…

Andreana represents boards of education in education law matters, labor relations and employment law, including labor negotiations for certified and non-certified staff, grievance arbitration, freedom of information hearings, student disciplinary matters, special education disputes, and education policies and practices. Andreana frequently speaks on education law and labor relations matter.

Photo of Jessica Richman Smith Jessica Richman Smith

Jessica represents schools in a variety of education, labor relations and employment law matters.  She negotiates certified and non-certified collective bargaining agreements on behalf of numerous public boards of education.  Jessica also represents school districts in labor and employment disputes, freedom of information…

Jessica represents schools in a variety of education, labor relations and employment law matters.  She negotiates certified and non-certified collective bargaining agreements on behalf of numerous public boards of education.  Jessica also represents school districts in labor and employment disputes, freedom of information hearings, teacher tenure proceedings, student disciplinary matters, election law matters, and other legal proceedings arising in the education context.  In addition, Jessica advises schools on education policies and practices, compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act, and other legal matters arising in the education context.

Photo of Natalia Sieira-Millan Natalia Sieira-Millan

Natalia Sieira Millan advises public school districts on all aspects of school law, and she also teaches school law at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut as well as the Quinnipiac University School of Education.  Prior to joining the…

Natalia Sieira Millan advises public school districts on all aspects of school law, and she also teaches school law at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut as well as the Quinnipiac University School of Education.  Prior to joining the firm, Attorney Sieira Millan was an Assistant Agency Legal Director with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.