Updated: April 10, 2020
The FDA has put out Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read more here.
Find this video from the CDC on YouTube.
the Food Industry
Revisiting Important Symptoms: TAG Updates “Wellness Screening” with Secondary Symptoms.
As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, it is becoming increasingly clear that the primary mode of transmission appears to be person-to-person vs. surface contact, further emphasizing the importance of wellness screening and maintaining six-feet social distance.
Not only can asymptomatic persons spread the virus, but a growing body of epidemiological studies from around the world indicated that secondary symptoms of coronavirus often includes loss of sense (anosmia), sore throat, muscle aches, general malaise, headache, and diarrhea.
Anosmia has gained significant credibility as a symptom of COVID-19. According to a letter from ENT UK at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, significant numbers of patients in South Korea, China, and Italy, “with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia/hyposmia”. Additionally, many patients experience anosmia without any other COVID-19 symptoms. From this, the American Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has proposed that anosmia and dysgeusia (distorted sense of taste) be added to the list of screening tools for possible COVID-19 infection.
TAG has also updated its wellness screening advice to include both primary (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) and other secondary symptoms. An employee wellness screening should be conducted prior to the start of their shift and throughout the day, if multiple wellness checks are desired. To protect your workforce, consider screening all visitors, too.
Primary symptoms: If employee responds yes to having fever, cough, or difficulty breathing,
Have they consulted with a medical professional (e.g., doctor)?
Have they been tested for COVID-19?
Do they have their results yet? If so, were the results positive or negative?
If tested with positive result, determine the employee’s work schedule for at least the 48 hours prior to illness onset to identify employees and customers who may have had close contact (worked within 6 feet of that person for more than 10-15 minutes)
Isolate the employee and send them home, following the guidelines in When Does the Clock Start for a COVID-19-Diagnosed Employee for self-isolating and return to work.
If any other employees experienced fever or cough in the last 14 days, run through the same questions/actions with them.
Secondary symptoms: If employee responds yes to having ONLY one or more secondary symptoms (loss of smell or taste [anosmia], headache, tiredness or fatigue, sore throat, or gastrointestinal illness [diarrhea]):
These employees may be infected with COVID-19 and should be sent home immediately and instructed to call their healthcare provider and describe their symptoms for evaluation.
They can be allowed to return to work under the direction of their healthcare provider or 3 days following resolution of all symptoms.
Additionally, for guidance on potential illness, Emory University has put together an online Coronavirus Checker (link). Using symptoms, age, pre-existing conditions, where you live, and current best clinical practices it can provide guidance on what to do when you or someone else might be feeling ill.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy of this poster (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Chinese - simplified, traditional are available).
As of April 10, 2020 (16:46 ET), there are over 1,670,000 cases (>101,000 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focusing on the United States, please see here for the data. For further information regarding worldwide numbers, please refer to John Hopkin University’s aggregate map.
Keep up to date with COVID-19:
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