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COVID-19 Daily Briefing - 3.19.20

Today’s Recap:

  • Last night the EEOC issued ADA guidance amidst the pandemic where it expressly allows temperature checks as permitted under the ADA. It’s not “law” but we’ve been operating without “law” for a while now…
  • New CDC data shows that despite the prevailing narrative, younger people are getting sick enough to be hospitalized. Nearly 40% of hospitalizations are people aged 20-54, though the mortality rate is much higher in the older population.  The good news though is this data set is slightly skewed by who is being tested. 
  • Florida continues with some of the most stringent requirements in the nation. They exclude anyone who has travelled through any airport in the last 2 weeks. They’re also requiring 2 negative lab results 24 hours apart for confirmed positives to return to work. It’s based on good clinical guidance, but presumes that they’ll still have widely available testing. So far, they have tests available and good turnaround time, but this may change as the situation deteriorates. 
  • Ohio’s governor walked back daily temperature checks for employees, citing it as a “recommendation” due to the shortage of thermometers and operational challenges. Symptom surveys should suffice for Ohio restaurants to be compliant. 
  • The National Restaurant Association shared this tracker with updates about restrictions for each state.

 

Your best questions of the day:

 

  1. Should we use an outside cleaning service if we have a COVID -19 confirmed case?

We do not recommend it for a variety of reasons (unless you use one regularly). Here’s why: 

  • No one knows your restaurant or facility like your team
  • You will insure they clean with an EPA-approved product (found here)
  • The optics of a cleaning crew in hazmat suits through your windows aren’t good (and a hazmat suit isn’t necessary). 

 

  1. Who is requiring symptom surveys or employee screenings now?

Florida and Ohio, minimally, but this is changing pretty rapidly. Florida says you need to exclude anyone who says “yes” to their three questions (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) or has travelled through any airport or on a cruise within the last two weeks.  

 

  1. When can an employee return to work after a positive or suspected COVID-19?

A minimum of 7 days, but symptom free for at least 3 days. That includes having no fever without Tylenol for at least three days. 

Florida is also requiring two negative COVID tests for an employee who tested positive or was suspected as positive to return to work. 

 

  1. Are we still excluding direct contacts (family members and intimate contacts) for 14 days?

Yes, 14 days from the contact’s onset of illness. We may see this change soon as there is good data showing average onset is ~5.1 days from exposure. 

 

Our best read of the day:   Why soap and water works to kill coronavirus

 

Today’s celebrity birthday, so that you have someone to sing to as you wash your hands: Bruce Willis! Die hard is a Christmas movie now...

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