There is a new pattern of local health departments closing restaurants, stores and other businesses for 24 hours when a single lab confirmed COVID case is reported. Here is some guidance that can help you safely remain open (or reopen more quickly).
- The most important document to keep handy and reference is this CDC Risk Assessment chart
- One of the reasons for closure is to allow time to sanitize. But most of you will have sanitized already - as soon as you knew you had a sick employee. It is important that you share that information in the first phone call with the health department. New best practice: Manager should take a cell phone pic of the sanitizing product and the completed sanitizing punch list to quickly text to the health department.
- You will need to quickly review schedules to determine who worked closely with this person for the three days prior to onset of symptoms. “Closely” is defined as within 6 feet for 10 to 30 minutes. In a drive thru, that means everyone who worked alongside that person. For a quick serve line, that means the people on either side.
The CDC recommends cloth face coverings for people in foodservice:
- Click here to see how to make your own (including no-sew options). Nearly none are available for purchase at this point, so we recommend making your own.
- Wash face coverings every day.
- Don’t remove face covering during shift. If you do, wash your hands and if possible, put on a new, clean cloth face mask
It looks like COVID can be passed to animals. According to the CDC, tigers and lions in a Zoo contracted COVID from a human Zookeeper who was sick. It doesn’t appear that animals contract it on their own or pass it to humans.
States Currently Requiring or Recommending Employer Wellness Checks:
- Washington (recommended)
- Ohio (strongly recommended)
- Oklahoma (required to ““closely monitor employee health”)
- Charleston, WV
- Oakland County, MI
This is not a complete list - it’s very challenging to find local and state requirements in the rapidly changing environment. If your local or state Dept. of Health Dept. has a requirement that isn’t listed here, please send us a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Best Questions of the Day:
What does the CDC mean by close contact at work, or outside of work?
The CDC has updated its guidelines about close contact:
- Outside of work, it’s face to face contact or contact within 6 feet for 30 mins or more, AND always includes roommates, intimate partners, and caregivers
- At work, it’s 30 mins or more of working within 6 feet of a LAB CONFIRMED POSITIVE COVID-19. For now, we are NOT being told to exclude coworkers who had close work contact with presumed COVID or anyone showing symptoms who isn’t confirmed for COVID-19.
Here is our updated COVID-19 Exclusion Chart with this new information. It’s important to note that we’re only currently being told to exclude coworkers who worked within 6 feet of a sick employee if we have a lab confirmed positive.
These recommendations are changing quickly, we’ll be sure to keep you informed of all changes.
We have sick employees who can’t be tested. How do we handle that?
Many testing centers who are experiencing testing supply shortages have been turning away people who don't meet their testing criteria - they are only testing health care workers or those sick enough to require hospitalization.
Exclusions are the same for:
- a presumed COVID (has COVID symptoms)
- a lab reported positive COVID
- a lab negative COVID who has COVID symptoms. ( there is a 30% false negative rate )
If it looks like COVID, assume it is to be safest.
In any of these three situations, the employee should be excluded for a minimum of 7 days, and at least three days fever free without fever reducing medication and other symptoms resolving.
We can’t have employees stay 6 feet apart due to limitations of our space. What do we do?
If employees can’t be 6 feet apart, it’s important that they cover their faces with a cloth face mask, according to the latest CDC guidelines. If for any reason wearing a mask is not possible, employees should continue to monitor themselves for symptoms.
Who can help me get into the app? I forgot my login or having a problem.
Please email email@example.com and Julianne Fontno will get you up and running immediately.
Best Listen of the Day:
This podcast / interview is long (1:22) but absolutely worth your time. No one explains COVID-19 - where we are, where we might be going better than Mike Osterholm of University of MN CIDRAP
Best laugh of the day:
Yes, make coronavirus jokes…laughter is good medicine.