This question came up because so many of you have had employees come to you to report positives whom you didn’t even know were being tested. Many (most) were asymptomatic but somehow were able to be tested (we learned more about that too). Most of you agreed that asking every employee reporting for work if they’ve been tested may be a challenging and frustrating exercise.
We’ll begin by saying South Korea got a handle on this much more quickly than others because they tested so many people whether or not they had symptoms. But we have smart employees who are getting coached on what to say at the testing sites; sometimes by the police or National Guard at the front entrance. By saying they had a fever or family member who is positive, they’re getting tested. And some are testing positive… who are either still asymptomatic or did develop symptoms between testing and results.
This disease is primarily transmitted from person to person to food prep, food handling and food delivery are not considered significant risks. Although there is evidence that it can survive on some surfaces, that is not how most people will get it. Transmission from handling a bag, especially one with handles, is not considered a source of illness. Nearly every third party delivery platform has added contactless delivery and touch free payment. We’re hearing that guests like when delivery people are gloved - even if it isn’t absolutely necessary.
We do recommend procedures that deter delivery persons from gathering inside or outside your locations - to protect your staff and the delivery persons. Ideas include: Limiting the number allowed in at one time, keeping people six feet apart, developing a system for their knowing when an order is ready for pick up, adding pick up shelves outside or through a window, or giving gloves and wipes to the delivery people
It is important that every manager understands the responsibility to comply with HIPAA and protect the medical privacy of employees who have tested positive, been exposed, live with something with COVID or being tested. Since yesterday, as more employees have tested positive, we’ve repeatedly heard that managers are sharing the name of employees who tested positive. We’ve worked with some of you to add careful wording to disclosure talking points about HIPAA and medical privacy.
And today’s famous birthday to sing to as you wash your hands: Diana Ross. It’s kind of ironic that one of the songs that made her famous was Reach out and Touch (somebody’s hand) at the time where touching someone’s hand is ... well, you know.