COVID-19 Resources

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

For the food industry

  • Daily Updates

  • Advice for Food Industry

  • What can you (we) all do?

 
Key Points

Updated: March 30, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, it is important to remind everyone: what you did last week won’t be the same thing that you will be doing this week.

Looking ahead at a prolonged outbreak, have you considered your business’ policies around:

  • Identifying potential cases and increasing employee wellness checks?

  • Absenteeism and plans for business disruptions?

  • Tracking close contacts?

  • Mental health resources for your company?

  • The complexities around exclusion policies and “return to work”.

As an increasing number of cases are being diagnosed, the following information should be obtained from a symptomatic employee or a confirmed case:

  • What is the employee’s work location?

  • What is the employee’s work hours?

  • What is the employee’s general and specific work duties?

  • Does the employee work in one location or do they travel throughout the building or to multiple sites?

  • Did the employee start to feel sick while they were at work?

    • If so, what date and what time?

  • What was the last day the employee was at work?

  • Who did the employee have close contact with (physical contact or within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) 48 hours before the employee became ill or during their last day at work?

    • Collect this information as it will determine other employees that may need to self-quarantine if the employee were to test positive in the future. 

 

Today, we discuss “When does the clock start for a COVID-19 diagnosed employee, or close contact, to return to work?” in our Recommendations for Industry. Short answer: It can be complicated; please read below for more.

 
Recommendations for
the Food Industry

Question: When does the clock start for a COVID-19-diagnosed employee, or close contact, to return to work?

Answer: It was a month ago yesterday (February 29, 2020) that the governor of Washington state declared a state of emergency after a man died of COVID-19; the first reported death in the U.S. Since then, state or public health emergency declarations have been issued in every state, Washington DC, and across U.S.’ territories. The United States has now exceeded 140,000 diagnosed cases across the U.S.

 

As this number increases, someone in your workforce may likely become infected or have been in close contact with someone who has. As this pandemic has evolved, we have advised that those who show symptoms (e.g., fever, dry cough, shortness of breath), have a positive diagnosis, or were in close contact with someone who was infected,  should be sent home and to self-isolate for an appropriate period of time. Close contacts (anyone who has come in contact with an infected individual up to 48-hours prior to onset of symptoms) need to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they become symptomatic. Additionally, anyone with symptoms should isolate (no contact with anyone) until they are at least fever-free for three days and at least 7 days from symptom onset.

 

As it has also been over a month since it all “began” in the U.S., it is also likely that some employers are starting to find employees ready to return to work. While the three days fever-free/7 days from symptom onset is relatively self-explanatory, the 14-day window of self-quarantining is a little less cut and dry. What exactly is that 14-day window? When does the clock start ticking? When can and should these employees return to work? While there are several scenarios to consider (addressed in the TAG COVID-19 Toolkit, see below for more information); today, we will focus on the meaning of the 14-day window for self-quarantining of close contacts.

 

The 14 days do not begin until the last day of contact with an ill person. This means that individuals living with a person with the virus will likely have a longer quarantine than the person with the infection. Why is this? The household close contact individual will have had to quarantine during the infected person’s illness AND for an additional 14 days after the household illness is released from isolation, to ensure they are symptom-free. If the close contact is not symptomatic themselves, the clock resets to the above.

 

On the other hand, an employee could have a shorter than a 14-day window of self-quarantine. For instance, if an employee was a close contact of a suspect or confirmed COVID-19 case at work, they would need to self-quarantine for 14 days since they were last in contact with the ill employee if that time period includes close-contact 48 hours before employee started to feel ill. Taking today (March 30th) as an example. If an employee became sick at work on March 25, the start of the 14-day window for close contacts would revert back to the last day of contact (March 25). Thus, the employees would have only need to quarantine for 9 days as opposed to 14 days.

 

Completely independent of the 14-day window, employers also should consider the advice from the Employee Screening Guidance of the Ohio Department of Health for those who do display COVID-19 symptoms:

  • If an employee displayed symptoms, they can return to work when they have had met the following three conditions:

    • NO fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time;

    • AND there is improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) for three (3) days;

    • AND at least seven (7) days have passed since their symptoms began.

  • If exposed to COVID-19 through close contact or travel to an area with community spread, and an employee displayed any potentially COVID-19-related symptoms, the employee can return to work after meeting the above criteria; or if a doctor determines the cause of symptoms is not COVID-19 and approves their return.

 

It is a complex situation with numerous variables. For more information on the scenarios, assistance, and/or access to the full TAG COVID-19 Tookit, call us at 1-800-401-2239 or email info@achesongroup.com.

Everyone should practice social distancing (more specifically, physical distancing), not only those who are ill or at higher-risk (e.g. older individuals, pre-existing conditions) but also among healthy individuals so we may "flatten the curve".

 

Please feel free to use this free poster at your establishment. Please email us (info@achesongroup.com) for a copy of this poster (English, Spanish, French, and Chinese - simplified, traditional are available).

 
Outbreak Updates

As of March 28, 2020 (17:35 ET // 5:35 PM ET), there are over 775,000 cases (>37,000 deaths) worldwide in 202 countries/territories.

 

Northern Mariana Islands has reported its first cases of COVID-19.

 

Current Confirmed Cases (Please note, instead of countries over 100 cases, TAG will now be reporting countries with over 1,000 cases):

 

  • United States: 159,184

  • Italy: 101, 739

  • Spain: 85,195

  • China: 82,198

  • Germany: 66,125

  • France: 45,169

  • Iran: 41,495

  • United Kingdom: 22,448

  • Switzerland: 15,760

  • Belgium: 11,899

  • Netherlands: 11,817

  • Turkey: 10,827

  • South Korea: 9,661

  • Austria: 9,597

  • Canada: 7,310

  • Portugal: 6,408

  • Israel: 4,695

  • Norway: 4,445

  • Brazil: 4,371

  • Australia: 4,361

  • Sweden: 4,028

  • Czechia: 2,942

  • Ireland: 2,910

  • Denmark: 2,755

  • Malaysia: 2,626

  • Chile: 2,449

  • Poland: 2,055

  • Luxembourg: 1,988

  • Ecuador: 1,962

  • Romania: 1,952

  • Japan: 1,866

  • Russia: 1,836

  • Pakistan: 1,690

  • Philippines: 1,546

  • Thailand: 1,524

  • Saudi Arabia: 1,453

  • Indonesia: 1,414

  • Finland: 1,352

  • South Africa: 1,326

  • India: 1,251

  • Greece: 1,212

  • Iceland: 1,086

 

 

For further information, please see Johns Hopkins University’s aggregate map.

Keep up to date with COVID-19:

Please send us any questions, comments, and/or concerns! We are happy to talk with you. 

 

OR call us at 1-800-401-2239

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info@achesongroup.com

Toll free 800.401.2239

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