Should employers make you use PTO for COVID-19?

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 6:55 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Much has changed when it comes to COVID-19 in just two years.

At the beginning of the pandemic most quarantines needed to last at least 14 days after a positive test.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends just five days in isolation and wearing a mask when you return to work.

“We’ve learned a lot more about this virus,” said Dr. Paul Richardson, of Conway Medical Center.

Richardson also advises anyone to monitor their symptoms thoroughly and not return to work if they still feel ill.

Most employers have also moved past COVID-19 sick days, making the employee use their own PTO or unpaid time off.

“I think it’s something that each employer should work with when it comes to their employees,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, Director of Public Health at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Traxler says rushing your employees back to work could end up getting more people sick.

“Then you find yourself facing a worker shortage,” she said.

Myrtle Beach, Conway, Surfside Beach and North Myrtle Beach are following CDC guidelines when it comes to quarantines for city/town employees.

However, Horry County Schools is still offering paid leave for teachers or faculty who are positive for COVID-19.

This will remain in place through the end of the school year and be reevaluated by the school board.

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