Unfortunately, even with the end of the national state of emergencies, long COVID still poses exceptional challenges for employers and employees alike. Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges is that long COVID is not clearly defined. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) it can have many forms including Post-COVID Conditions, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID.

The CDC has formulated "post-COVID conditions" to describe health issues that persist more than four weeks after being infected with COVID-19. These include:

  • Long COVID (which consists of a wide range of symptoms that can last weeks to months) or persistent post-COVID syndrome (PPCS)
  • Multiorgan effects of COVID-19
  • Effects of COVID-19 treatment/hospitalization; and/or
  • A non-exhaustive list of typical clinical symptoms in "long COVID" are tiredness, fatigue, difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes called "brain fog"), shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, headache, persistent loss of smell or taste, cough, depression, low-grade fevers, palpitations, dizziness, muscle pain, and joint pains.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services research suggests that between 5% and 30% of those who had COVID-19 may have long COVID symptoms, and roughly one million people are out of the workforce at any given time due to long COVID.

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