Public Health

On August 11, 2022, the CDC updated its COVID-19 guidance as the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID exposure has significantly declined. More specific guidance for school districts was issued by the CDC, which can be found here.

In addition, the Department of Public Instruction has published guidance entitled “COVID-19 Infection Control and Mitigation Measures for Wisconsin Schools 2022/2023,” which can be found here.

While we published a Legal Update on the recent CDC
Continue Reading School Law Update: CDC Adjusts Direction on Exposure Quarantine Requirements for Employees

On August 11, 2022, the CDC updated its COVID-19 guidance as the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID exposure has significantly declined. This Legal Update is primarily focused on the legal compliance obligations for private sector employers. The CDC will issue more specific guidance for specific industries and settings, such as healthcare, congregate settings with higher risk of transmission, and travel. von Briesen’s School Law Section will be issuing a legal update with recommendations for schools.
Continue Reading CDC Adjusts Direction on Exposure Quarantine Requirements for Employees

On Monday, December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortened the recommended isolation and quarantine period for certain individuals infected with or exposed to COVID-19. The new recommendations come in light of evidence that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions occur in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. The CDC’s new recommendations, outlined below, will be a welcome change for many employers struggling with staffing shortages as it will
Continue Reading CDC Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Periods

The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear oral arguments on both the OSHA ETS vaccine mandate and the CMS vaccine mandate on January 7, 2022.

On December 17, 2021, we shared with you that the Fifth Circuit limited the scope of the injunction related to the CMS Mandate, which meant that 26 states were required to comply with the mandate again. (Click here to read more). On December 18, 2021, we shared with you that the Sixth
Continue Reading Supreme Court Accepts Vaccine Mandate Cases

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order (found here) that it would hold a special session to hear arguments on OSHA’s vaccine-or-test rule that mandates employers with 100 or more employees require its employees to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or be subject to weekly tests. The Court issued its order in response to emergency applications for an administrative stay in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s 2-1 decision
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court to Hold Special Session on January 7, 2022 to Review Federal Vaccine Mandates

On November 23, 2021, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) conducted a live webinar to answer questions surrounding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate scheduled to take effect December 6, 2021.

The most frequently asked question among providers was, “Does the vaccine mandate apply to our facility?” The response by DHS was consistent that if your facility or provider type bills Medicare via a CMS Certification Number, the CMS vaccination mandate applies to
Continue Reading Wisconsin DHS Answers Questions About the CMS Vaccination Mandate

On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued the highly-anticipated guidance on incentive programs, giving employers the green light to offer employees incentives to either receive the COVID-19 vaccine or verify their vaccination status.

In January 2021, the EEOC rescinded its proposed regulations on wellness programs. Under the previous guidance, wellness programs could only involve de minimis incentives like a water bottle or “a gift card of modest value.” Thus, there was concern that the incentives
Continue Reading EEOC Issues Highly-Anticipated Guidance on Vaccine Incentive Programs

Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series (such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines), or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.2 Individuals who do not meet these requirements are not considered fully vaccinated: They are still subject to the prior masking and social distancing requirements. The CDC stated that individuals with compromised immune systems still may not be fully protected after vaccination.

After individuals are fully vaccinated, they may
Continue Reading Updated CDC and OSHA Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

On Thursday, May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) abruptly issued guidance stating fully vaccinated individuals can, subject to certain exceptions, resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing. The non-binding guidance comes as more than half of eligible adults in the United States have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

An individual is considered “fully vaccinated” either:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the

Continue Reading CDC Issues Guidance Allowing Fully Vaccinated Individuals to Go Without Masks

There are two new developments on the OSHA COVID-19 front to report.  First, yesterday, OSHA sent a draft of a new, mandatory, temporary emergency standard on COVID-19 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  Up to now, OSHA has not had a mandatory standard in place to deal with the coronavirus, relying instead on guidances it has issued and on the General Duty Clause for enforcement efforts.

As soon as President Biden took office, he directed
Continue Reading It Looks Like a Mandatory COVID-19 Standard Will be Coming, and OSHA Clarifies Recording Adverse Vaccine Reactions

Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, held that the Governor is prohibited from declaring successive states of emergency in regards to the same enabling condition without legislative approval. This means that Democratic Governor Tony Evers is prohibited from issuing any new public health emergency orders as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic without the approval of the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature.

The Court struck down Executive Order 105, and as a result, the statewide mask
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Governor Evers’ Successive Executive Orders & Statewide Mask Mandate

On March 11, 2021, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced the next eligible group for COVID-19 vaccinations. The group, designated Group 1c, extends vaccine eligibility to Wisconsin residents ages 16 and older with certain medical conditions that have a greater risk of severe infection from COVID-19. Such medical conditions include, but are not limited to, asthma, cancer, heart conditions, hypertension or high blood pressure, obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30-39 kg/m2), overweight (BMI of 25-29 kg/m2),
Continue Reading Wisconsin Announces Groups Eligible on March 29 for COVID-19 Vaccination

On Thursday, February 4, 2021, the Wisconsin State Assembly (“Assembly”) voted on a resolution to repeal the mask mandate. This vote came a week after the Wisconsin State Senate (“Senate”) voted on the same resolution to repeal the mask mandate. The same statute that gives the Governor power to create executive orders, also allows the Senate and the Assembly to repeal the orders by simple majority vote in each chamber.

Republican lawmakers argued that Governor Evers exceeded his authority
Continue Reading The Wisconsin Mask Mandate Renewed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued revised guidance with options for reducing the length of quarantine for individuals who are asymptomatic, but have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. While the CDC still acknowledges that the 14-day quarantine period provides the greatest protection from spreading the virus, they also recognize that a full 14-day quarantine period can be a burden for employers and employees alike.

The CDC’s new guidance applies
Continue Reading New CDC and Wisconsin Guidance Contain Options to Reduce Length of Quarantine

On December 2, the CDC updated its guidance for quarantining after exposure to COVID-19. The CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the safest option, however, it has provided two acceptable alternatives to shorten the quarantine period depending on local circumstances and resources.

  • Quarantine can end after 10 days without testing if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
  • Quarantine can end after seven days if the individual obtains a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test result within 48 hours

  • Continue Reading New Guidance on COVID-19 Quarantine Duration

    On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) issued Emergency Order #10 (the Order). During the press briefings, the PHMDC consistently told the public and media that Order #10 prohibits indoor mass gatherings and limits outdoor gatherings to 10 people or less. The Order continued all of the prior restrictions, including a mask requirement for all individuals over the age of five (5) and limiting most businesses to 50% capacity. The Order further prohibits sports
    Continue Reading Amended Emergency Order #10 and Your Business