Due to the high number of inquiries received and the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG is offering COVID-19 Retainer Packages to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.
Request a quote below or call us: 1-800-401-2239
The WHO discusses some similarities and differences between COVID-19 and influenza (“the flu”) infectivity and symptoms.
As both COVID-19 and influenza are transmitted by contact, droplets (respiratory), and fomites (objects), practice good hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette.
The current calculated reproductive number – the number of infections resulting from one infected individual – is around 2 – 2.5. This means that for every person infected, they can infect up to two (2) others. However, this number will evolve as we learn more.
Due to the increased numbers of community transmission, employers should encourage employees to participate in “Employee Wellness Checks”. For an example, please see TAG's COVID-19: Guidances for Employees and Businesses.
Encourage employees to stay home if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 including fever, cough, shortness of breath or gastrointestinal illness.
Consider how work-from-home policies can be supported or expanded. Social distancing is effective in limiting or slowing transmission of the virus.
Stop The Spread of Germs (CDC)
the Food Industry
Employee Health (Part 3): Employee Leave and Return to Work
The workplace recommendations for employees to stay home when sick and wash their hands have been repeated in various publications. While nearly all COVID-19 communications recommend that employees stay home – or go home – when they are sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, there is little available information on managing both time away from the office and the employee’s return to work. Following are some best practices from companies who have planned and developed policies:
Travel. If your company is instituting or has instituted a policy eliminating non-essential travel, your management team will need to make decisions on previously arranged travel. Employees must understand the policy as it applies to travel that may have already been booked. Additionally, employees should discuss with their manager what travel is considered business-critical, and if travel should proceed or be canceled.
For travelers, the CDC ranks travel risk into three categories of health notices:
Warning – Level 3 Health Notice, Avoid non-essential travel. China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy currently fall under a Level 3 Health Notice in which the CDC recommends that all non-essential travel be avoided (with entry of foreign nationals having been suspended for China and Iran). Additionally, for those traveling from a Level 3 Health Notice area should, “stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing.” If individuals “are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should call ahead before seeking medical care.”
Alert – Level 2 Health Notice, Practice enhanced precautions. Japan currently falls under a Level 2 Health Notice. The CDC recommends, “Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.” Additionally, “Travelers should watch their health during travel and for 14 days after returning to the United States.”
Watch – Level 1 Health Notice, Practice usual precautions. Hong Kong is under a Level 1 Health Notice. Travelers to Level 1 Health Notice areas should “avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.”
Non-business travel. Some employees who have had vacation travel (or even non-essential business travel) booked to high risk areas may choose to proceed with that travel. Employers must consider policies and contingency plans for assigning extra time off policies should the employee be further detained.
For example, anyone returning for a “Warning Level 3” area is likely, on re-entry to the US, to be detained and potentially screened for the virus, then self-isolated at home for 14 days. If that employee cannot work from home during that time, the employer needs to consider how it will manage paid or unpaid leave. The employer should also consider how to manage employees returning from “Warning Level 2” countries and may ask these employees to work from home for two weeks after return (if possible).
Looking ahead, these questions and more (depending on your operations) will need to be discussed and a policy determined between your management team.
COVID-19 Diagnosis. If an employee is medically diagnosed with COVID-19, they should be told to remain at home and self-isolate until they are cleared by their healthcare provider or the local health agency. Not only should this policy be communicated to your employees, please also remind them to: (a) report diagnosis to their manager; (b) communicate diagnosis to any others with whom they may have come in contact.
Return from time off. When an employee returns to work (including returning from vacation, personal leave, or sick leave) they must should with their manager(s) to discuss the reason for the time off and the ailment/cause of their or family member’s sickness (if applicable). For “non-sick” leave, employers should ask employees about their areas of travel, potential for contact with infected persons, etc. Some companies have instituted sickness return forms which require both employee and manager/human resources signatures before employee can return to work. A form is encouraged as it provides a traceable document for record-keeping.
Keep up to date with COVID-19:
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