WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head on Wednesday said essential workers who are asymptomatic after exposure to a confirmed or suspected coronavirus case can return to work, but should wear face masks and take other precautions.

CDC Director Robert Redfield, speaking at a White House briefing, described new CDC guidance intended to accelerate the return to work of employees in essential sectors like healthcare.

Under the previous guidance, such workers were advised to stay home for 14 days if they were exposed to confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases.

The new guidance says that workers who are asymptomatic may return to their jobs if they take their temperatures before doing so and wear face masks as well as practice social distancing on the job, Redfield told a White House briefing.

“We want them not to share objects that would be touching their face and we’d like them not to congregate in break rooms, lunch rooms, in crowded places,” he said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Sandra Maler)