If you are an employer, do you know what to do if one of your employees has symptoms of Covid or tests positive for Covid? Let us discuss the CDC’s recommendations for different scenarios, so you can help keep all of your employees safe and limit liability.
- Employee who calls out sick with symptoms: Any employee who calls out sick with fever and/or cough and upper respiratory symptoms should be advised to remain at home, until they meet the criteria to stop home isolation. Do not require the employee to submit test results or a physician’s note. The healthcare system is overwhelmed, which may cause a delay and you would not want an employee to return to work for fear of losing his or her job, if he or she is unable to obtain the documentation.
- Employee in the workplace with symptoms: The employee should be immediately separated from other employees and/or customers and sent home to isolate. It may not be necessary to shut the workplace down, but if possible, shut down the area for twenty-four hours where the employee spent a prolonged amount of time and then, disinfect the area. Waiting twenty-four hours may allow for any virus on surfaces to die, preventing potential exposure of the cleaning person.
- Once an employee has confirmed Covid: Once an employee notifies you that he or she has tested positive for Covid, it can be necessary to notify other employees of the possible exposure. For privacy reasons, do not identify the employee. Any employees potentially exposed, those who spent prolonged periods of time within less than six feet of a positive employee, or with symptoms, should be advised to isolate at home for fourteen days and see a physician or get tested before returning to the workplace. Advise all other employees to self-monitor, wear a mask in public, and stay home if symptoms develop.
When can an employee return to work? An employee who has had Covid can return to work, when he or she has had no fever for more than seventy-two hours and has an improvement in respiratory symptoms. Also, it has been ten days since the onset of symptoms, he or she has had no fever for more than seventy-two hours, has improved symptoms, and has had two negative Covid tests performed twenty-four hours apart.
Following consistent guidelines can be a smart strategy for keeping your employees healthy and minimizing liability. For related legal matters, our experienced team of local attorneys is here to answer your questions. We know local experience matters! For more information, please reach out to our office. You may call, chat, or contact us at any time. Put our team to work for you!