We are beginning to see clusters of sick employees in single locations. They are not necessarily in the geographic areas we are seeing highlighted on the national news.
It is important to have a system in place for tracking how many employees are excluded for illness (vs living with or caring for someone who is ill) by location and setting a threshold for escalation to Corporate and ZHH for assessment. 3 employees excluded for COVID diagnosis (lab confirmed or presumptive) is our recommended threshold.
The mask issue continues to be at the top of the news and the subject of much of our conversations today. Earlier in the day, the Governor of CA and Mayor of Los Angeles spoke about use of cloth masks. As of this afternoon, major papers are reporting that the White House is expected to recommend the use of cloth masks when in public. This is a huge challenge - and many organizations are hustling to procure disposable medical/surgical masks. The difficulty with it is that healthcare workers still lack PPE. Clearly more to come on this subject over the next few hours and days.
The CDC provided a detailed update on best practices in care guidelines for clinicians today. The biggest takeaway was that 80% of COVID patients continue to not require medical treatment.
1. When an employee is excluded for exposure and then becomes sick, can they come back to work sooner than 14 days.
Often the answer is yes. If the employee becomes ill, they can return to work a minimum of 7 days later, as long as they’re fever-free for three days (without fever reducing medication like Tylenol) and other symptoms are improving.
2. If the highest exposure risk is two days before symptoms start, are we actually looking two days before the employee became sick for closest contacts to let them know about the possible exposure?
Yes. Although we are not extending exclusions longer than 14 days, we are looking back two days prior to identify closest contacts.
3. Are pregnant employees at higher risk? Would working in the back of the house be better for them than interacting with curbside or takeaway guests.
There is no evidence that pregnant women are at any higher risk for COVID. Any pregnant employee should consult with her OB/GYN regarding any work restrictions or work recommendations.
4. Should we avoid using small manager’s offices?
Yes! Managers offices are tiny and too small to follow good social distancing guidance. Two people should not be in the manager’s office at the same time. And they should be sanitized regularly.