Nobody likes getting sick. Concerns about the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continue to rise. Employers are wondering what they can do to protect their workforce. The CDC has issued some recommendations for employers.
1. Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home. Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness should stay home until they are free of any signs of fever and any other symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 24 hours.
2. Separate Sick Employees. Employees who arrive at work with symptoms of acute respiratory illness (cough or shortness of breath), or become sick throughout the work day, should be separated from all other employees and sent home immediately.
3. Emphasize Hand Hygiene. Actively encourage employees to wash their hands with soap and water frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
4. Perform Routine Environmental Cleaning. Employers should routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace (workstations, countertops, and doorknobs).
5. Educate Employees. Inform your employees on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the precautions to take to minimize the risk of contracting the virus, without causing panic.
6. Appoint a Point of Contact. If an employee has a question or concern about the virus, there should be one person in your organization that they can go to.
7. Review Safety Programs and Emergency Action Plans. Ensure they include infectious-disease protocols. If not, include them.
8. Approve Travel. Implement travel guidelines and procedures for approving all travel to and from China.
There is no guarantee that your workforce will avoid COVID-19, but by taking these steps you can take extra precautions to reduce your risk. You should also closely monitor the CDC website for the latest and most accurate information.