Updated: May 20, 2020
The CDC has recently released its COVID-19 Opening Guidance (Appendix F; page 40 onwards). We will explore this guidance in the next week.
As we are approaching “peak harvesting seasons”, find out how the FDA and USDA are working together to protect our food chain and will continue to work with food manufacturers, producers, and grocery stores to ensure an adequate food supply.
We have updated our “Why Wear Masks” and #ReturnToWork “A Day in the Life” posters and graphics with new languages, including Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Please download at our COVID-19 Downloadable Resources page.
If you are having trouble downloading any graphics, please let us know.
the Food Industry
Business Recovery COVID-19 Testing.
As workers are being brought back to work, employers are asking more questions about requirements they can make for COVID-19 testing, both onsite and offsite. Some questions have included: requiring employees to report results of any individual testing the employee has had.
Diagnostic Testing. Previously TAG discussed the EEOC’s technical assistance publication addressing questions about COVID-19 that have arisen under the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws. The publication included a statement indicating that businesses can test employees for COVID-19 before allowing them to enter a worksite without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, because it is a reportable disease, employers can require that employees report offsite positive test results.
Antibody Testing. Because questions remain on the immunity conferred by having had COVID-19, the results from antibody testing are not straightforward. While the antibody tests will show that an immune response occurred, as we’ve discussed previously, the results does not alert to if or how long an individual will be immune to COVID-19. Employers could offer voluntary testing or ask that offsite testing be reported, but TAG recommends that employers visit the EEOC site or consult with a legal counsel prior to. Additionally, because of the lack of evidence of immunity, companies should know what they will do with antibody testing results, as it can cause more risk than good. (See “Should I Use Antibody Tests as a Wellness Screening Tool?” in TAG’s COVID-19 FAQs/Guidance for Employees and Businesses.)
For assistance with questions on testing and other COVID-19 recovery practices and policies, give TAG a call.
As of May 20, 2020 (12:45 ET), there are over 4,946,000 cases (>324,000 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focus 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.
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