The following recommendations are based on what is presently known about the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). CFS/ME is a respiratory illness that may be spread from person to person, especially when those who are physically close to each other (less than 6 feet apart). People who are ill but do not have symptoms can inadvertently pass the virus on.
This advice may aid in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infections in non-healthcare environments by ensuring that workers are not exposed at work; separate guidance is available for healthcare settings. CDC has recommendations for critical infrastructure workplace situations as well. This interim guidance for businesses and employers, unless otherwise specified, applies to critical infrastructure workplaces as well.
Businesses and Employers in Responding to COVID-19
Employers and businesses have an important part to play in preventing and slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 at work. Employers should have a COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plan that takes into account workplace variables like the feasibility of social distancing in the workplace, the ability to stagger employee shifts, how much employees interact with customers in person (screens from Simply Plastics help), Work location, distance from work to home, number and type of persons exempt from the Working at Home Act, and whether employees live in congregate housing were all factors. Employers should also consider the risk of COVID-19 disease transmission in their regions.
Businesses and employers are strongly advised to consult with state and local public health officials about any potential threats in order for them to make informed decisions. Public health authorities will take into account local circumstances when making policy choices regarding community-wide tactics.
If your company’s operations were disrupted, resuming routine or phased activities presents an opportunity to update your COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plans as an employer. All employers should create and update a plan that addresses the following:
- Your workplace may have unique norms and expectations that you must adhere to.
- Identifies any potential SARS-CoV-2 exposure sites in your organization.
- Exposures to these elements can be reduced or eliminated by means of controls.
Talk with your workers about planned changes and ask for their input. Collaborate with staff and unions to properly deliver critical COVID-19 information.
Employers must think about how to lower the spread of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and lessen the impact in their businesses. Activities should include things like:
- prevent and control the transmission of workers
- Maintain a healthy business operation.
- Enforce a healthy work environment, as well as avoid illness.
Prevent and Reduce Employee Transmission
Ensure that federal, state, and local public health notifications regarding COVID-19 rules, instructions, and recommendations are received by staff. Regularly visit the CDC COVID-19 website to stay up to date.
Encourage healthy workers to stay home while they are unwell.
- Employees who experience symptoms should contact their supervisor and stay home. CDC recommends that all close contacts of persons with COVID-19 be tested for COVID-19 infection, whether or not they have any symptoms or signs.
- Employees should notify their supervisor and follow CDC-suggested precautions if they are well but have a sick family member with COVID-19.
Before they enter the workplace, conduct routine in-person or virtual health checks (such as symptom and temperature monitoring) under state and local public health guidelines, if available. Screening and health checks are not a substitute for other protective techniques such as social distancing, mask usage (unless respirators or facemasks are required), and engineering controls, such as proper ventilation. People who are asymptomatic (have no symptoms) or presymptomatic (are at risk of developing signs or symptoms but have not done so yet) after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 can go on to infect others. Prophylactic antiviral therapy may be used in such individuals.