New CDC interim guidance for essential workers exposed to COVID-19 outlines precautions for employee and employer.
New interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clarifies conditions under which employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 may continue to work, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect the employee, the work environment, and the community. What constitutes exposure? Is any self isolation required? How will fellow employees be protected? The slides below outline the CDC's guidance.
What is Potential Exposure? Being a household contact or having close contact within 6 ft of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hrs before the individual became symptomatic.
Critical infrastructure workers who have had an exposure but remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift.
PRE-SCREEN. Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
REGULAR MONITORING. As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
WEAR A MASK. The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure.
KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCE. The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
DISINFECT & CLEAN WORK SPACES. Employers should routinely clean & disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment.
NO SHARED OFFICE ITEMS. Employees should not share headsets or other objects that are near mouth or nose. Employers should increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
PILOT TEST FACE MASKS. Employees and employers should consider pilot testing the use of face masks to ensure they do not interfere with work assignments. Employers should work with facility maintenance staff to increase air exchanges in room.
MAINTAIN DISTANCE, DON'T SHARE FOOD. Employees should physically distance when they take breaks together. Stagger breaks and don’t congregate in the break room; and don’t share food or utensils.
IF EMPLOYEE GETS SICK AT WORK. Send employee home immediately ** Clean/disinfect all surfaces in their workspace ** Compile information on persons who had contact during the time symptoms were noted & 2 days prior to symptoms ** Others at the facility with close contact within 6 ft of the employee during this time would be considered exposed.