Actually, the “Ab” stands for Antibody. This is a serology, or antibody, test result. All it means is that the person has the antibodies for Coronavirus. And while we hope this means that they’re immune from catching it again, it’s still too early to say that with certainty. So, no need to send them home (unless they’re symptomatic!), but it isn’t a free pass, either.
The CDC specifically says that employers should NOT require a doctor’s note if someone says that they have a legitimate medical reason for not wearing a mask. Claustrophobia, anxiety, difficulty breathing, etc. are all examples we’ve heard. We don’t recommend asking for a doctor’s note, but we also don’t want employees to stop wearing masks just because they’re uncomfortable (they are!). We recommend reiterating to staff that masks are essential unless you have a legitimate medical reason not to wear one, and then working out a way to allow that employee to work without a mask. Keep in mind that you are still required to provide reasonable accommodations under the ADA.
Some clients might consider face shields as an alternative if that option works for the employee in question. Although they don’t provide the same level of protection, the optics are likely better than an unmasked employee.
First thing to do here is confirm without a doubt that the employee and their family truly have no symptoms, exposure to someone sick, or another reason to have gotten tested. In many places, testing is still limited and you have to prove symptoms or reasonable exposure, so it’s possible that the employee is forgetting to mention that their husband has a cough, or they have a fever, etc.
But we are starting to see areas where testing is becoming more widely available, including some without symptom requirements for essential workers and their families, so it’s possible that this is true. Once you’re 100% certain that they had no real reason for testing other than curiosity, then you’re clear to let them work once they get those negative results.
If you find out that someone got tested and they’re waiting for the result, we suggest keeping them out for the day until they get them back, just in case.
Restaurants have become the economic lifeblood for many cities. This NYT article talks about how crucial restaurants are as anchors of neighborhoods across the US.
Movie theaters aren’t open, but these marquee signs are amazing…