Updated: July 01, 2020
With the increased spread of COVID-19 across many states, upcoming holidays, and good weather, we’ve received questions about employee’s off-time. In today’s Recommendations for Industry Q&A, we touch upon how concerned you should be about what your employees are doing during their off-time (and if they are remaining protective against COVID-19). Read more in today’s Recommendations for Industry.
Starting next week, we will be moving to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday update schedule.
To show Americans on a state/county level about the potential risk of where they are, the Harvard Global Health Institute has put together a COVID Risk Levels Dashboard that depicts risk level by state and county using cases/100K people.
This dashboard differs from TAG’s own Risk Matrix (discussed below) which considers other factors like test-positive rates, positive cases per capita, etc.
Recommendations for Industry
TAG Q&A: How concerned do I need to be about what employees do during their off-time?
Q. How concerned do I need to be about what employees do during their off-time?
A. With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in many states, and research showing a high potential for spread in confined spaces (including bars, which a number of states had recently reopened) employers – unfortunately – need to be very concerned of what their employees are doing when they’re not at work.
For instance, bars can be a high-risk environment of COVID-19 spread. From the standard atmosphere of a bar – small, cramped, confined indoor spaces with loud music, to their reason for being – drinking and close socializing with others, there is little potential for social distancing or masks. Additionally, studies cited in a recent NY Times article highlight:
Speaking can release up to 10 times more particles than a cough.
Particles emitted in talking and loud speech are potentially more infectious than the larger droplets of a sneeze or cough.
It is imperative that, with increasingly good weather and upcoming holidays, employees are reminded of the need to social distance and wear masks both on- and off-duty.
“So how does this concern track with where I am?” you might ask. Ultimately, your concern about your and your employee’s off-time activities will vary by state. TAG’s risk matrix tracks multiple variables and studies leading indicators of states moving from a lower-risk status to a higher-risk status.
One such primary analyses explores test-positive rates (the percent of tests taken for which results are positive for the virus). An analysis of test-positive rates offsets the variability between number of tests conducted across various states. Based on the test-positive rates, the following states are at the top of the high-risk curve (that is, these states have a high incidence of individuals testing positive for COVID-19):
Florida, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas 15%
Alabama, Mississippi 13%
For the full, weekly updated matrix across all 50 states and additional TAG analyses, contact TAG. We can assist in your continuing efforts to protect your employees and your business.
As of July 01, 2020 (16:46 ET), there are over 10,538,000 cases (>512,000 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.
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
Get the Insights & Guidance You Need!
Learn how TAG can help your company ensure food safety and brand protection.
Contact us today!