As a valued client partner, we’d like to address the current COVID-19 epidemic. Below are facts about the virus, and general guidelines from the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans.
- The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in China and some limited person-to-person transmission has been reported in countries outside China, including the United States. However, respiratory illnesses like seasonal influenza, are currently widespread in many US communities.
RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES FOR EMPLOYERS TO USE NOW:
- Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
- Encourage sick employees to stay home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours.
- Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible, non-punitive, and consistent with public health guidance. Be aware that employees may need to stay home to care for sick family members, too.
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning and provide disposable cleaning wipes for employees to wipe down shared surfaces before use (doorknobs, desks, counters, keyboards, etc.)
For more information on COVID-19 and creating an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan should the virus become widespread in our area, visit www.cdc.gov.
Jeffrey C. O’Brien
President and CEO