BERLIN - Unvaccinated town employees who travel out of state are now recommended â€“ not required â€“ to quarantine upon their return.
This is the latest change to Berlinâ€™s covid-19 policies, according to Human Resources Director Denise Parsons, who updated the Town Council at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
â€śProtocols have changed several times over the last year-and-a-half,â€ť she told elected officials. â€śWeâ€™ve issued probably 12 updates trying to be incompliance with the governorâ€™s ongoing mandates. Last Friday they were updated to include new requirements to staff travel.â€ť
Employees who are fully-vaccinated who come into close contact with an individual who is positive for the coronavirus do not need to quarantine, but must be tested within three to five days of exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until receiving a negative test result.
Non-vaccinated staff that works for the town of Berlin are required to quarantine for two weeks following close contact with an individual who has covid-19. If they elect to wear a mask indoors and get tested on day five or six since exposure and the result is negative, they may end their quarantine on day seven. If they do not get tested but continue to wear a mask indoors at all times and remain symptom-free they may end their quarantine on day 10.
For those who do travel unvaccinated, the town, in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least a seven-day quarantine, if negative test results are obtained three to five days after returning to Connecticut. For those who do not obtain a test, the recommended quarantine period is 10 days.
Previously the town had required unvaccinated employees to quarantine post-travel, but this policy was changed in accordance with the CDC recommendation, Parsons explained.
â€śWeâ€™re also collecting vaccination data from all staff in preparation for the Presidentâ€™s mandate for companies with 140 people or more to require vaccinations,â€ť she added. â€śGetting this step done will put us at an advantage for whatever comes next.â€ť
Individuals who test positive for covid-19 must remain out of work for at least 10 days after symptom onset and may return 24 hours after their fever is gone. Those who are asymptomatic can end quarantine after 10 days of obtaining a positive test result.
Town staff has generally been receptive to guidelines, according to Mayor Mark Kaczynski, and the infection rate among employees remains low.
Masks are still required in the Berlin Senior Center, the Berlin-Peck Memorial Library and schools.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.