We do.. at least in the short term. Today we heard the term “Mass-k Confusion” and liked it. There is tremendous confusion and changing guidance about who needs to wear masks, where and when. We’ve quickly gone from no one wearing masks, to some employees asking to wear masks, to most employees begrudgingly wearing masks, and now to employees wanting your guests or customers to be wearing masks also.
Unfortunately, no…. Broad testing will be an important part of our new normal until antibody testing and vaccinations are standard. But it now sounds like parts of the country will begin opening in the next several weeks and employee testing is not yet available. We will continue to monitor this situation and keep you updated. Testing reagents and swabs continue to be in short supply, and continue to be reserved for health care workers and those who are sick. Anyone who tells you today they can test their employees, have home kits readily available, know what tests will cost or know what an positive antibody test actually means is likely not being forthcoming with you.
Good question. You are all experiencing this same phenomenon. One client was forced to close a location that was doing awesome curbside business after nearly the entire crew was excluded for exposure to a manager who worked while awaiting testing results. Another had to bring in a manager from elsewhere (who risked travel and checking into a hotel) to keep another manager’s location open. We need to keep drilling this message in: no one works sick, no one should work while awaiting results, managers need to lead by example and the risk they pose based on the number of employees with whom they interact makes this even more critical.
Clearly this was the question and issue of the day. We spent hours discussing it with many of you. This is a very, very complicated issue. We want to support our employees who are also healthcare workers and allow them to continue to work if they so desire. But they also have a much higher chance of becoming infected. Excluding them isn’t simply a 14 day exclusion - their exposures aren’t going to end in 14 days. And the issue is larger than just nurses - many of you have employees who are critical infrastructure workers who are first responders, active duty combat medics or funeral home workers. There is no easy or single answer to this question. If the employee is just working one or two shifts per week, the compassionate solution would be to pay them not to work for the duration. Obviously that’s not a solution that works for everyone. For now, they should be handled on a case by case basis and it’s very important that they are masked and gloved while working for you.
As we now know, it’s Friday, won’t send another summary until Monday unless something comes up (which based on today’s fast and furious happenings is a real possibility). Have a good weekend.