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Daily COVID-19 Briefing - Wednesday, May 20

COVID signage for your business, screening delivery drivers, risk assessments, and more...

Today’s Recap:

  • Mental health is a major issue for all employees today, but there’s new evidence that depression, anxiety, and PTSD may be a common issue for those who have recovered from an ICU stay while sick with COVID-19. 
  • Everyone is still struggling with mask usage.  From breakouts to glasses fogging, the complaints are non-stop..  Here are some good tips from our friends and long time vendor Ohio Health: Solutions to Common Face Mask Frustrations
  • Today’s hotspots for employees testing positive were in two states that have opened - WI and GA.
  • Opening guidance continues to come in fast and furious - some of which changes (and more than once).  TN requires signing a COVID prevention pledge.  CA regs state you need to establish a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan at every location, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work areas, and designate a person at each establishment to implement the plan.  Here’s one sample from Denver supporting additional outdoor seating. Staying on top of all of this is still challenging.

Best Questions of the Day:

Now that we’re requiring some business travel, how far should we go in advising employees not to travel?

For now, we still advise employees to limit any non-critical travel, and strongly advise against airplane or train travel.  With that said, some of you are now traveling for business.  Varying states still have 14 day quarantines and it is very difficult to keep track of them.  So it is up to the traveler to make sure they know the quarantine requirements of both their destination and the state to which they’re returning. Some states (MA, RI, VT for example) still have strict 14 day quarantines.  Others have quarantines from specific states (14 day self-isolation from NY, NJ, CT, IL and LA) .  Keeping track of this broadly all is nearly impossible.  

We have employees who are also EMTs, nurses, law enforcement or even mortuary workers who are checking “YES” to COVID exposure on their daily wellness check.  How should we best handle that?

This is tricky, and likely best dealt with on a case by case basis. At ZHH, like you,, we feel strongly about supporting healthcare workers, first responders, law enforcement and other essential personnel who have cared for us, protected us and put themselves at risk in doing so.  Unless there are very specific extenuating circumstances, we are suggesting you allow those employees to work.  We don’t want to penalize them.  But the work each one is doing, which needs to be evaluated, can be assessed for higher risk.  So far, we’ve exclude an army medic doing COVID testing 12 hours a day, someone who is embalming patients who expired from COVID and a few ICU nurses who were lacking proper PPE when caring for their COVID patients.

What is considered close contact in the workplace (for an exposure risk assessment when an employee tests positive)?

The CDC says co workers who worked within six feet for thirty minutes or more in a non-health care setting.  However, local health departments’ contact investigators often seem to be saying 10 minutes instead of 30, and today we have had several who said 15 minutes (we have no clue where that one came from, but can see it in the CA opening guidance).  We haven’t chosen to argue with them for obvious reasons. In any situation, defer to your local jurisdiction and contact tracers if their regulations are more stringent than the CDC.. If there’s no additional guidance from them, we’re sticking with 30 minutes within 6 feet on the advice of our contacts at the CDC.

We’re being asked about signage requirements in various states and locales.  Do you have sample signage?

Although you still need to pay close attention to the specific requirements in your jurisdictions,  there are some prepared signed that will help.  Find  the CDC’s printable resources here, and some of our own Zero Hour Health and Zedic basic signs here (ours are for legal-sized paper).  

One of them will likely meet your needs.

We are reading and hearing that to reopen in CA, we  must test the temp of employees and suppliers that enter the building.   Do we need to screen delivery drivers, etc.?

Short answer:  Yes, if they enter your restaurant. But the good news is that the guidelines say that you can take temp “and/or” symptom surveys. We highly recommend doing a wellness check over a temp check if you can - much simpler and lower-risk.  You can see the full guidelines for CA restaurants here. There’s also some flexibility if folks screen themselves at home, but confirming that for outside vendors and contractors will be next to impossible. 

Best Read of the Day:

We’ve heard some talk of immunity passports as a pathway to opening, but this Politico article outlines why that’s more complicated than it sounds - and not likely to happen any time soon. 

'Immunity passports' won't reopen America

Best Laugh of the Day:

We’re all kind of Zoomed out. But this sounded so familiar it made us laugh.

Coworkers On Zoom Trapped In Infinite Loop Of Telling Each Other 'Oh Sorry, No, Go Ahead'

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