Updated: June 29, 2020
There are now over 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The CDC has updated its list and criteria of individuals (at any age) who are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Further information can be found here.
People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19: Chronic kidney disease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant; Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher); Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; Sickle cell disease; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Based on the CDC’s current knowledge, people with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19: Asthma (moderate-to-severe); Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain); Cystic fibrosis; Hypertension or high blood pressure; Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines; Neurologic conditions, such as dementia; Liver disease; Pregnancy; Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues); Smoking; Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder); Type 1 diabetes mellitus
The CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Cloth face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
With the increased spread of COVID-19 across many states, today’s Q&Afocuses on updates to employee travel (business or vacation) with an updated TAG Risk Matrix to determine risk-based travel policies. The risk matrix has been updated with data from this past week (June 22 – 28, 2020). Read more in today’s Recommendations for Industry.
Recommendations for Industry
TAG Q&A: What Should I Be Doing About Employee Travel? TAG Matrix Provides Basis for Risk-Based Travel Policies.
Q. With the increase in COVID-19 cases across many states, what should I be doing about employee travel?
A. As has been key throughout the reopening of states, one of the primary considerations for travel and post-travel return-to-work policies is that of location. While the media generally focuses attention on the number of positive tests to indicate risk, that one factor does not tell the full story. Instead, it is essential to consider other factors including number of positive cases per capita, percent of positives per tests taken, etc. From this, businesses can better set risk-based policies for post-travel requirements.
TAG’s analysis of national COVID-19 data shows that 10 states have had a weekly test positive rate of greater than 10% (Idaho, Utah, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Nevada, South Carolina, and Arizona).
The same data, sorted by the weekly change in the Test Positive Rate, shows an increase of more than 5% in the test positive rate over the past week in Nevada, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Oregon. Thirty (30) states had an increase of less than 1%. Only two states, Washington and Oklahoma, had a decrease in the test positive rate from the previous week.
In areas of high-risk (such as those with test positive rates greater than 10% or those seeing significant increases in the test positive rates) any non-essential travel should be discouraged. If travel is unavoidable, or employee insists on traveling for a vacation, you will want to consider requiring quarantining and/or testing employee upon their return. TAG can assist you in assessing your situation and assist in the development of risk-based return-to-work policies. Contact a TAG public health expert today.
As of June 29, 2020 (12:56 ET), there are over 10,189,000 cases (>502,000 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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