CDC ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES REGARDING RESPONSES TO EMPLOYEES EXPOSED TO COVID-19

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued new guidelines on April 8, 2020 aimed at getting critical infrastructure workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 back to work faster. Under the previous guidance, workers were told to stay at home for 14 days if they were exposed to someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.

The new guidelines allow critical workers who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 (i.e., such as exposure to a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19) to continue work as long as they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community . The guidelines apply to workers in 16 different sectors, such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and other industries. The guidelines are set forth ( HERE) and are included below:

From the CDC Guidance:

Critical Infrastructure workers (a full list is available, HERE )who have had an exposure but remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:

  • Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
  • Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
  • Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
  • Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
  • Disinfect and Clean Work Spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.

If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately. Surfaces in their workspace should be cleaned and disinfected. Information on persons who had contact with the ill employee during the time the employee had symptoms and 2 days prior to symptoms should be compiled. Others at the facility with close contact within 6 feet of the employee during this time would be considered exposed.

Note that guidelines for non-essential workers remains as previously indicated, and included with this link: (HERE) .

If you have any questions relating to this eAlert, or any other COVID-19 issue, please contact NFC’s COVID-19 Response Team as we are closely monitoring the rapidly changing legal landscape relating to this global pandemic. Please feel free to reach out to the NFC Attorney you typically work with or call us directly.

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