Yes - newest studies show that 5 days after known exposure is the best time to get tested and to wait at least 3 to 4 weeks after illness for antibody testing. Positives are less likely to show up if done earlier (part of the problem with testing as a solution at this point).
This is a really tough one. If they truly are completely isolated, they might not need to be excluded at all. However, there are a few factors that lead us to recommend a 14 day exclusion from the date the family member arrives home. First, the optics: that there’s a confirmed COVID+ person in the household and the employee is not excluded at all might be uncomfortable for colleagues and guests if they were to find out. Second, the reality: there’s a good chance someone in the household did have close contact and may be incubating the virus now. All in all, our recommendation is to keep this person out for 14 days from the date their family member came home, even if they didn’t have contact for a full 15 minutes within 6ft on that day.
Yes! We do a lot of coaching when we see possible 24 day exclusions because it may be possible in many cases to isolate a sick adult, or make arrangements that allow some members of the household to isolate. If an employee figures something out (e.g. one household member takes care of a sick child and the other stays with a friend), they can chat back in with us and get their exclusion reduced to 14 days from their most recent contact with the sick person.
Yes. It’s really hard to know what someone’s pain tolerance is, what they consider mild vs. severe, and how COVID can present itself in different folks. If someone has a symptom that’s enough for them to report it on a wellness check, even if they tell us it’s mild, we count it as a symptom if it’s new or changed. If someone has a mild headache but that’s an everyday occurrence for them, they’re not going to be excluded from work. If someone has a new “very mild” cough, they should stay out for 10 days, because that’s a common COVID symptom.
You know we’re big fans of Mike Osterholm and his podcast from last week on how crazy this all is was particularly interesting and worth listening to.