If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or need help, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Food service and food prep workers had the second-highest rate of overdoses of any industry in the US (after only construction workers), even when adjusted for sex and race. The CDC study found that because foodservice workers spend so much of the day standing, walking, and making repetitive motions, they’re more likely to have work-related injuries. The implication there is that injuries may lead to an opiate prescription (or to seek pain relief through illegal drugs). Job instability, lack of paid sick leave, and lack of health insurance are also common, as is work-related stress, especially around interacting with customers. On top of that, the restaurant industry has “comparatively relaxed workplace norms around substance use” that are linked to higher use of drugs and alcohol. In fact, food service employees have the highest rates of both illegal drug use and substance use disorders among all workers in the US. Our main takeaway: this is a problem for your company, no matter your size. We’ll be continuing to ramp up our information on substance use in the workplace to help support you and your employees.
You should discuss your specific situation with your doctor, but in general, unless you are at high risk for complications from COVID or have other underlying conditions, most vaccination experts are advising waiting a few weeks for the updated booster. The latest boosters should start to become available in mid-September, and that timeline matches more closely with previous winter surges. While we are seeing an uptick in cases right now, there’s a real possibility that later in the fall and winter we’ll see an even bigger wave, and you’re more likely to be protected through the holidays if you wait a bit longer for that booster right now.
Source: Your Local Epidemiologist
The question of whether and when to bring back masks is a political and social minefield right now - we get it! There have been some high-profile colleges and companies that are being billed as a “return” to masking, but in reality, they were short-term responses to acute outbreaks and in some cases, were requested by the health department. Do we recommend returning to a blanket mask policy for all of your locations? Absolutely not. But we do think that it’s smart to have a clear, well-communicated plan that includes specific locations masking for a short period of time (for example, 10 days) after it reaches a specific case threshold (like 4 or more COVID cases that include employees from 2+ different households). Involve your HR and legal teams, and have a plan for employees who refuse to wear a mask. Use a similar threshold to switch from employees calling out when they are already sick to doing daily proactive wellness checks, which can help catch illness sooner and prevent workplace transmission.
Source: LA Times