If you want to have an effective Contract Tracking system at your workplace, appoint a pandemic manager, often from the HR department. Have the pandemic manager closely monitor employees and visitors for symptoms, such as shortness of breath, dry cough, fever, or no sense of smell or taste. If someone has symptoms, the pandemic manager must act fast and find out anyone that worker came into contact with at the workplace for the last 48 hours. Contact means spending more than 15 minutes within 6 feet or less of the employee, generally speaking. If the workplace has poor circulation and employees speak loudly and often to coworkers, you may want to expand contact to mean within 10 feet for 10 minutes.
Employers that want to take the strongest measures possible to stop the coronavirus can follow these steps for any worker having COVID-19 symptoms:
- Send the employee home.
- The employee should also get tested.
- If the test is negative, consider a retest if they have multiple symptoms; the test may be too early in the disease, and/or there may be a false negative.
- If the test is positive, consult your local health department for support.
- Advise close contacts in the workplace, without indicating who is ill, to quarantine for 14 days checking their temperature twice a day.
- Once the original employee or any coworkers stop having symptoms, they should self-isolate for 10 days beyond the date the symptoms stopped, and 24 hours from the point in time when they no longer have a fever.
- If employees are now well, they may return to work.
Managing a workplace during a viral outbreak of staggering proportions is possible. It takes precise planning, understanding of the correct procedure, and continual communication with employees. You can find CDC information for employers here. If you need more help, call Employers Council. We can help.