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.
We doubt that the isolation guidelines will change any time soon. We know that people can continue to spread COVID for up to 10 days, and even longer in some cases. The end of the public health emergency doesn’t mean the end of COVID - there are still hundreds of Americans dying every day from this disease, though numbers are decreasing. Nothing has changed about how COVID is transmitted. Instead, ending the PHE is more about acknowledging that COVID isn’t unexpected anymore and that the majority of the US has some level of protection from prior infection, vaccination, or both. So while not totally out of the question, none of the public health experts on our team or in our networks have heard anything about the CDC changing the isolation guidelines.
Right now, nearly everyone we know is monitoring the situation and taking a wait-and-see approach. That said, we’re getting this question a lot from our clients, so it’s certainly top of mind for a lot of companies. Workplace overdose fatalities are rising fast, so it’s not just about guests or those using semi-public bathrooms, it’s also a matter of employee safety. We expect to see some workplaces starting to add naloxone training to the standard bloodborne pathogen training, and eventually stocking it along with CPR kits in the future, though we think it may take a while until it’s industry standard.
This is a question that you’ll need to work on with your legal team. In many states, good samaritan laws protect most individuals who attempt to render aid in life-threatening situations, including those who administer Narcan when someone may be overdosing. Whether your company can require employees to administer that aid is a more complicated question. It’s more likely that employers stock naloxone in the same way they have CPR kits or defibrillators, and offer training (either mandatory or optional) in how to use it. Rather than mandate that employees intervene, we expect it will be more common for employers to give them the tools and training to spot an overdose and respond if they choose to do so as an individual.
This depends on the specific situation. ZHH can help you make the decision about whether to mandate it or just educate about the option to get tested. Generally, most workplaces (and restaurants in particular) are low-risk settings for TB transmission. The health department will require testing if they think it’s clinically required, so if they’re not mandating testing, you usually don’t need to force all employees to get tested. You might have anxious employees concerned about their own exposure, which is something that you’ll need to manage. Give employees good information to help quell their anxieties and make it easy for them to get tested if they choose to do so. Clear communication and basic TB education can go a long way.