The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidance for employers that have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at their workplace. This is a summary of the CDC’s information. Details can be found at the CDC’s website.
Employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home. Employees who develop symptoms outside of work should notify their supervisor and stay home.
Sick employees should follow the CDC recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to stop home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.
Employers should not require sick employees to provide a COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or return to work. Healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely manner.
In most cases, you do not need to shut down your workplace. But you should close off any areas that the sick person used for prolonged periods of time.
In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, you should determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and need to take additional precautions:
Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to stop home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.
Employees may have been exposed if they have been within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
Exposed employees who do not have symptoms should remain at home and practice social distancing for 14 days.
All other employees should self-monitor for symptoms and wear cloth face coverings when in public. If they develop symptoms, they should notify their supervisor and stay home.
If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee was in the workplace, you should clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick employee following the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
If it has been 7 or more days since the sick employee was in the workplace, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the workplace.
Other employees may have been exposed if they were in within 6 feet of the sick employee for a prolonged period of time (longer than 15 minutes):
Employers do not need to require a sick employee to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to return to work. Employees with COVID-19 who have stayed home can stop home isolation and return to work when they have met one of the following criteria:
Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms may return to work if:
People who test positive for COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms may return to work if:
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