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Absence due to covid-19 disease and quarantine

How should the readmission to service take place following absence from work due to COVID-19 illness and quarantine? The Ministry of Health defines it with circular 15.127/2021 (these procedures may, in any case, be subject to further updates based on the evolution of the epidemiological framework, scientific knowledge and the national regulatory framework).

How should the readmission to service take place following absence from work due to COVID-19 illness and quarantine?

The Ministry of Health defines it with circular 15.127/2021 (these procedures may, in any case, be subject to further updates based on the evolution of the epidemiological framework, scientific knowledge and the national regulatory framework).

Serious positive workers

With hospitalization

In more serious cases requiring hospitalization, the worker must:

  • present the certification of the negative treatment to the employer, also electronically,
  • carry out the medical examination (pursuant to article 41, paragraph 2, letter e-ter) of Legislative Decree no. 81/2008) or the one preceding the resumption of work after absence for health reasons for a duration exceeding 60 continuous days. This visit will be carried out by the competent doctor, where appointed (or through the competent public structures at a territorial level), regardless of the duration of the absence due to illness.

Positive workers with severe symptoms reporting subsequent complications (without hospitalization)

In more serious cases involving complications even after recovery, the worker must:

  • submit certification of the negative treatment to the employer, also electronically,
  • carry out the medical examination (pursuant to article 41, paragraph 2, letter e-ter) of Legislative Decree no. 81/2008) or the one preceding the resumption of work after absence for health reasons for a duration exceeding 60 continuous days. This visit will be carried out by the competent doctor, where appointed (or through the competent public structures at a territorial level), regardless of the duration of the absence due to illness.

The competent doctor plays an important role in the reintegration of people affected by COVID-19 who have been hospitalized in intensive care and for whom relevant ailments persist, as well as those affected by COVID-19 who have in any case experienced pneumonia or a respiratory infection severe acute, involving, even after the disease, a reduced lung capacity, with the need to undergo cycles of respiratory physiotherapy.

Symptomatic positive workers

Workers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus who, on the other hand, have shown non-serious symptoms, can return to service after:

  • an isolation period of at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms (excluding lack of taste and smell),
  • a subsequent molecular test with a negative result performed at least 3 days after the disappearance of the symptoms.

Therefore, the aforesaid workers will have to send, also electronically, to the employer the certification of the negative treatment, according to the methods established by the legislation.
If they present cohabitants who are still positive in their household, they will not in any case be subject to the quarantine obligation and can therefore still be readmitted to service.

Asymptomatic positive workers

COVID-19 positive workers who, throughout the infection period, have been completely asymptomatic are allowed to return to work:

  • following at least 10 days of isolation from the appearance of the positivity,
  • at the end of which they resulted negative to a molecular test.

Therefore, the aforementioned workers will have to send, also electronically, the certification of the negative treatment to the employer, according to the procedures established by current legislation. If they present cohabitants who are still positive in their household, they will not in any case be subject to the quarantine obligation and can therefore still be readmitted to service.

Positive long-term workers

With reference to subjects who continue to test positive for the molecular test for COVID-19, even though they no longer have symptoms for at least a week (with the exception of cases of ageusia/dysgeusia and anosmia which can persist even for a long time after recovery), the Ministry of Health, with Circular no. 32850 of 12 October 2020, has provided that they can stop isolation 21 days after the onset of symptoms.

However, as regards their readmission to service, workers who are still positive after the 21st day will in any case not be able to return to service until they have tested negative for a molecular or antigenic swab, carried out in an accredited or authorized facility by the service sanitary. (Shared protocol for updating measures to contrast and contain the spread of the SARSCoV virus – 06/04/2021).

The worker will therefore have to

  • send, also electronically, the report certifying the negativeization to the employer

If in the period between the issuance of the end of isolation certificate and the negativeization, the worker cannot carry out his work activity in agile mode, the attending physician will issue a certificate of extension of the illness which will cover this period of time. In this case, it is not necessary for the competent doctor to carry out the medical examination prior to resuming work.

Workers placed in quarantine for asymptomatic close contacts of a positive case

The worker who has come into close contact with a person who tested positive is required to notify his or her doctor, who will issue a medical certificate of illness, unless the worker can continue to carry out his or her work in agile mode.
For the purposes of readmission to service, the worker must then:

  • carry out a quarantine period of 10 days from the last contact with the positive case,
  • subsequently undergo the execution of the molecular or antigenic swab,
  • and, in the event of a negative report, sent to him by the Department of Public Health (or by the laboratory where the test was carried out), inform the employer.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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