COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Action Plan
This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person, especially between people who are physically near each other (within about 6 feet). People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others. The CDC will update their guidance as additional information becomes available.
Symptoms of COVID-19
There are a wide range of symptoms reported in people with COVID-19 – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Below is a list of possible symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
Actively Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home
Employees who are asymptomatic (have no symptoms) or pre-symptomatic (not yet showing symptoms) but have tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate and follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers.
Employees who are well but who have a sick household member with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow CDC-recommended precautions:
Daily In-Person Health Checks (Screenings)
Conduct screenings safely and respectfully and in a way that maintains social distancing of workers entering the screening area.
Employees should not enter the worksite past the screening area if any of the following are present:
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- Fever of 100.4˚ F or higher or report feeling feverish
- Undergoing evaluation for COVID-19 infection
- Diagnosis of COVID-19 infection in the prior 10 days
- Close contact to someone with COVID-19 infection during the prior 14 days
- Make a visual inspection of the employee for signs of illness, which could include flushed cheeks, sweating inappropriately for ambient temperature, or difficulty with ordinary tasks
The screener should wear a mask and wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
The screeners should stand at least 6 feet away from the employee being screened
When conducting temperature and symptom screenings:
- Put on disposable gloves
- When non-contact thermometers are used and the screener does not have physical contact with the individual, the screener’s gloves do not need to be changed before the next check. Gloves should not be worn continuously for more than 4 hours. Gloves should be removed and discarded if soiled or damaged. After removing gloves, screeners should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Any PPE, including gloves, facemask, respirator, eye protection and gown should be removed and discarded if soiled or damaged.
- Follow guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding confidentiality of medical records from health checks.
- To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, make employee health screenings as private as possible.
- Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin and be sure to maintain confidentiality of each individual’s medical status and history.
- Identify Where and How Employees Might Be Exposed to Individuals With COVID-19 at Work
- Increase physical space between employees, where feasible
- Implement flexible work hours (e.g., rotate or stagger shifts to limit the number of employees in the workplace)
- Use signs, tape marks, or other visual cues such as decals or colored tape on the floor, placed at least 6 feet apart, to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible
- Cancel, adjust, or postpone large work-related meetings or gatherings that can only occur in-person in accordance with state and local regulations and guidance.
- Use videoconferencing or teleconferencing when possible for work-related meetings and gatherings.
- When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces continuing to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet apart and wear masks.
- Close or limit access to common areas where employees are likely to congregate and interact.
- Prohibit handshaking.
- Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level.
- Place touchless hand sanitizer stations in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene. Provide tissues and no-touch trash cans.
- Place posters regarding Wellness Tips to help stop the spread at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen. This should include signs for non-English speakers, as needed.
- Provide disposable disinfecting wipes so that employees can wipe down commonly used surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, keyboards, phones, etc.).
Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
- At least 10 days passed since symptom onset and
- At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms have improved.
A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days, that may warrant extending duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset.
Persons with COVID-19 who never developed symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive COVID-19 test.
A test-based strategy is no longer recommended EXCEPT to discontinue isolation or other precautions earlier than would occur under the symptom-based strategy outlined above.