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COVID-19 Daily Briefing - Thursday, 4/30

Today’s Recap:

  • A Gallup poll released today said that up to 14% of Americans with symptoms of COVID-19 would avoid care due to costs.  The same report says that millions have been denied care due to patient volume. 
  • Early reports say that poultry and pork plant closures may not affect restaurants as deeply as retail grocery stores, but other supply chain issues are arising, including salmon and other seafood where fishing seasons are precarious. 
  • A pug in North Carolina tested positive for the virus. Don’t worry, Winston’s symptoms were mild and he’s fully recovered (and a very good boy). There’s evidence that he got the virus from his humans, and there’s not any evidence that dogs can spread the virus. 
  • According to Meghann Martindale Global Head of Retail Research for CBRE on today’s webinar about restaurant recovery, restaurants in China, which have started to reopen, are seeing initial customers dining in during the day, with low volume in the evenings
  • And for those of you who weren’t able to join our webinar about lessons we learned from COVID-19, Noro, and Hep A  last week with the National Restaurant Association and Gojo/Purell, you can watch on demand here

Best Questions of the Day: 

We had a large group of staff attend a “Coronavirus Party” with someone who was sick. Do we need to exclude them all?

Yes...this is a real issue we had this week, and yes, we excluded every person that attended the party and any other employees they live with. For 14 full days. 

What defines “close contact?”

Within 6 feet of a sick person for 30+ minutes, or anyone who lives in the same household or is a caregiver for a sick person. 

Our business is reopening in a jurisdiction that doesn’t explicitly require masks. Should we require them, or is recommending them ok?

This is ultimately your call, but the CDC recommends wearing a mask in any public place where you can’t maintain 6 feet of distance. Our recommendation is to require them in public areas (lobby, elevator, break room, cash register), and make them optional for folks who are fully 6 feet distanced from others (e.g. those who have their own offices). Keep in mind that most food establishments are requiring them for all workers, and many local and county regulations may require them even if state regulations don’t - be sure to keep track of your own local laws and guidelines. 

We have an employee who already recovered from COVID-19. Now someone else in their house tested positive. Should we keep them out for 14 more days? 

If this was a lab-confirmed positive case, the employee is still cleared to come back to work, regardless of whether others in their house get COVID down the line.  Unfortunately, though, if it was presumed COVID, and the person was never tested, we have to act as though they’ve never had it and keep them out for 14 days. It’s possible that they had COVID and recovered, but it’s also just as likely that it was the flu or a headcold. Until we have better and more conclusive antibody testing, ONLY lab-confirmed recovered COVID cases are cleared to return if they live with someone who is sick. 

Best Read of the Day: 

Scientific American breaks down how past pandemics have petered out, and what it could take for this one to end.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Could End

Best Laugh of the Day:

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