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CDC Adds Six New Symptoms to its COVID-19 List

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added six new symptoms to its existing list of symptoms for COVID-19 yesterday.  Employers need to be aware of these new symptoms and update their policies, procedures, and employee information (e.g. handouts and notifications) accordingly.

The previous list included fever, shortness of breath, and cough. Now the list also contains six more symptoms to watch out for.  This reflects the reality that people with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms.

The guidance now provides that symptoms may appear two to fourteen days after exposure to the virus.  People with symptoms or combinations of the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

The CDC makes clear that the list it not all inclusive and advises that individuals should consult with a medical provider for other symptoms that are sever or concerning.

Additionally, the CDC emphasizes that individuals should immediately seek medical attention when experiencing the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

When calling 911, individuals should notify the operator if they think they might have COVID-19. Additionally, if possible, individuals should put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.

Employers should continue to actively encourage sick employees, or employees with sick family members, to stay home and telecommute when possible.  Additionally, they should update their policies, procedures, and employee information (e.g. handouts and notifications) to include these new symptoms.

Hinckley Allen is here to answer COVID-19 related questions and prepare updates policies and procedures.  Feel free to contact any member of our Labor & Employment group for assistance.


This list is not all inclusive.  Individuals should continue to monitor CDC guidance for further updates and individuals experiencing these or any other concerning symptoms should consult a medical professional.