COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR NON-HEALTH CARE EMPLOYERS:  Instructions on When an Employee can Return to Work 

New City, NY, – Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert continue to inform employers in Rockland County about guidance for the end of an employees isolation due to COVID-19. 

As an essential business, described here:, knowing when an employee who has been exposed to, believed to, or confirmed to have COVID-19 is allowed to return to work is very important.  See below for guidance for employees that have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19, not tested for COVID-19 or have a positive test result and either has symptoms or no symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or loss of smell/ taste.

If an employee was directly exposed to someone with COVID-19, the employee must be in quarantine for 14 days after the exposure. If the worker is not essential, that person can quarantine at home. If they are essential, they may continue to work but must wear a mask at work for at least 14 days after the most recent exposure, take their temperature at least every 12 hours, and have no symptoms of COVID-19

If an employee develops symptoms at any time during the 14-day period, the employee must leave the workplace immediately and stay at home and away from other people and follow the guidance below. An employee is NOT at risk for COVID-19 unless they had direct exposure to an infected person.  Exposure to someone else who was exposed is NOT an immediate risk.

If an employee does not get a COVID-19 test or their test results are positive and the employee has symptoms of COVID-19, the employee MUST stay at home and away from other people, including in their home, for at least 7 days since their symptoms first started.  They must also meet the following conditions before they leave isolation; be fever-free without taking fever-reducing medication for 3 days (72 hours) and all respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved. 

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and has NO symptoms of COVID-19, the employee MUST stay at home and away from other people, including in their home, for at least 7 days after the date the employee was tested for COVID-19. If the employee develops symptoms at any time during the 7 days of isolation, the employee MUST follow the instructions in the paragraphabove for someone who has symptoms of COVID-19.

All employees should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cover their cough and sneeze with their elbow or a tissue, and do not touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Ensure that frequently touched surfaces like doorknobshandles, remote controls, and phones are cleaned often. 

The resources below can provide additional information for employers and employees:
  • For more information and testing questions call the New York State 24-hour hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
  • For emotional support call the New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline at 1-844-863-9314 from 8 am – 10 pm, 7 days a week or call the Rockland County Department of Mental Health at 845-364-2955, M-F 9 am – 3 pm.
  • For local information and resources call 211
  • Visit the county’s COVID-19 page 
Follow the county health department on Facebook at or Twitter at 

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