Topic:       Preventing workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses

Goal:        To prevent workplace exposures and/or to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19 in our workplace in the event of an outbreak in the U.S. of acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

Following the recommendations of the CDC, below are strategies for Company Name employees and Independent Contractors

  • We will actively encourage sick employees to stay home: 
    • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their team leader and stay home if they are sick.
    • For widespread community outbreaks, such as Covid 19, A Clear Path will not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
    • A Clear Path understands you may have to stay home to care for a sick family member.  Family always come first.
  • Separate sick employees:
    • We appreciate your dedication to serving our clients, but if you report to work and appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) or become sick during the day you will be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately.   Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
  • We will emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees: 
    • Instruct employees to clean their hands often to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Employees are encouraged to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Please wear gloves and masks where possible. We will continue to monitor availability and purchase for staff safety.
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning:
    • Using disinfectant wipes or sprays, routinely wipe down and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, including but not limited to supply bags, purses, wagons, tools, dolly’s, countertops, light switches and doorknobs.
    • Use sanitizing wipes when entering and leaving client homes, if available. We are not able to purchase them at this time due to them not being available in stores.
  • Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
    • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
    • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
    • If a shelter in place order is announced in our area all onsite operations will be suspended.

Additional Planning Considerations – Recommendations from the CDC.   A Clear Path will closely monitor the CDC website for updates to recommendations.

  • A Clear Path will communicate with staff the disease severity (i.e., number of people who are sick, hospitalization and death rates) in the community.
  • Inform employees that some people may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
  • Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and their family members.
  • A Clear Path will assess job requests and prioritize accordingly. We will be prepared to change our business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of operations if needed).
  • Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace is able to operate even if key staff members are absent.

Recommendations from CDC for an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan:

  • Identify possible work-related exposure and health risks to your employees.
  • Prioritize job requests and staff responsibilities.
  • Plan to minimize exposure between employees and also between employees and the public, if public health officials call for social distancing.

Revised and updated on 03/13/2020