Updated: July 08, 2020
There is an increasing number of illegal hand sanitizer products that, instead of containing ethanol, are being adultered with methanol (or wood alcohol). Methanol is a toxic compound when absorbed through the skin and can be life-threatening if ingested. It is not supposed to be in hand sanitizers. Please refer to FDA’s list of brands/products that contain methanol. These products must be avoided.
In today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss the rising rates of positive tests across various states.
The global count of COVID-19 cases has exceeded 11 million.
Recommendations for Industry
AG's Q&A: Do State Quarantine Orders Apply to Essential Business Travel? & Updated Risk Information (July 07, 2020).
As depicted in the TAG exclusive graphs, the first graph illustrates that variabilities in state testing continue (blue lines). However, regardless of the amount of conducted testing, positive test rates (people testing positive) are also rising (red lines) in the vast majority of states – 32 out of the 50 (64%).
The states that have seen the most significant change in test positive rates are Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, California, Ohio, Wisconsin, and South Carolina. TAG’s analysis of national COVID-19 data shows that ten (10) states currently have a weekly test positive rate greater than 10%:
Kansas – 10%
Idaho, Alabama – 12%
Georgia, Nevada – 13%
Texas – 14%
Mississippi – 15%
South Carolina – 17%
Florida – 19%
Arizona – 25%
The same data, sorted by the weekly change in the Test Positive Rate, shows a 3% increase in Florida. Although eight (8) states now have a decreased test positive rate from the previous week (Alabama, Maine, North Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Nevada, Utah, and Oregon), Alabama, Texas, and Nevada, all still have greater than 10% test positive rates!
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), non-essential travel should be discouraged. If travel is Essential or employee insists on traveling for a vacation, you will want to consider requiring quarantining and/or testing employees upon their return. We discuss that in today’s Q&A: Do State Quarantine Orders Apply to Essential Business Travel.
TAG continues to provide this analysis on a weekly basis to assist clients in their business planning. By tracking past and current trends, we are able to deliver predictive analytics to help businesses determine where their states appear to be headed; where governors may be implementing travel bans/quarantines (See Q&A below); whether the business should be reopening or may have to close back down; etc.
For further clarification and specifications on the states in which your facilities are located or employees need to travel, and other impacts on your situation, give TAG a call today. We are here to help your business.
Q&A: Do State Quarantine Orders Apply to Essential Business Travel?
Q. My state has put out orders for quarantining by travelers who are coming in or back from states which are hotspots for COVID-19. As a critical infrastructure business, do my employees returning from essential business travel to those states have to follow that order? Can I restrict other employees from vacationing in those states?
A. The short answers are (1) yes, those orders need to be followed; and (2) no, you cannot restrict your employees’ vacations.
There may be exemptions to the order for essential travel for critical infrastructure business, so we recommend that you contact your state to determine if your travelers may be exempt.
You can discuss the situation with your employees wanting to vacation in a high-risk state, letting them know that they will have to follow a 14-day quarantine order, for which you would not have to pay them.
In either case, if approved by the state authority, you also may be able to follow the CDC serial testing strategy, that is: workers who remain asymptomatic and have negative tests at baseline and Day 3 can return to work and should continue to be tested every 3 days after returning to work. This also is assuming that testing is still available, as some areas are again limited due to the resurgence of the virus.
Call TAG for assistance in assessing your particular situation and communicating with your workers.
As of July 08, 2020 (16:44 ET), there are over 11,910,000 cases (>545,000 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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