USA – FDA: Follow CDC guidance for COVID-infected employees

A new guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration clarifies how manufacturers of drugs and biological products should address COVID-19 infection in their employees.

Generally speaking, employees who are ill or infected with SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, must be excluded from drug manufacturing areas and not permitted to return until they have met home isolation criteria established by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This guidance holds true for individuals who have a positive test for COVID-19, even if they do not have symptoms, and for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of testing status. Evaluation of the employee’s status should be made “in consultation with healthcare providers,” according to the guidance, which is immediately effective for the duration of the public health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Since drug manufacturing workers are considered critical infrastructure workers during the pandemic, they fall under special CDC guidance about when they may continue to work following an exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19. Employees should report any exposures or potential exposures to their supervisors, who should follow the CDC guidance. Drugmakers should consider implementing CDC-recommended social distancing measures that minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19…