OSHA has stated that it plans to conduct 1,500 inspections related to COVID. Are you ready? (Zedic blog)
The news about rare blood clots in six women who received the J&J vaccine has a lot of people talking about vaccine side effects. But do vaccines really affect women differently? (Zedic blog)
Yes. As you’ve heard from us over the past few weeks, breakthrough cases (where someone gets COVID after being fully vaccinated) are rare, but they do happen. If employees have symptoms, they shouldn’t be working, regardless of vaccination status. And don’t forget: there are plenty of other illnesses out there that aren’t prevented by the COVID-19 vaccine - Hepatitis, flu, norovirus and plenty of others are still circulating. Even before COVID, it was important to ensure employees weren’t working sick. Continuing daily wellness checks is the best way to do that.
In many cities, counties and states, daily employee wellness checks are still required. If someone does get COVID, you’ll want to be able to show the health department that you checked every person for symptoms and didn’t allow anyone to work sick. Plus, we expect this is going to be one of those things that customers and employees will want to see for their own safety and comfort.
Unfortunately, no. Positive antibody tests don’t really give us much to work off of because no one knows the magic number of antibodies that provide protection or prevent someone from spreading COVID.
The only people who don’t need to be excluded after close contact are those who were COVID+ in the past 90 days (confirmed by a PCR or antigen test), or those who were fully vaccinated (at least two weeks after their final dose) beforehand.
For anyone who’s had COVID more than 90 days ago or isn’t fully vaccinated, they’ll need a full 10-day exclusion each new time they have close contact with someone COVID+.
There’s still so much we don’t know about COVID antibodies, COVID antibody testing and re-infection. Once we do know more, we’re hopeful that an antibody test can tell us more about whether someone is protected, but until then, we can’t use antibody tests to determine exclusions.
Yes! We’re seeing more Hep A lately, and the good news here is twofold. First, COVID precautions like daily employee wellness checks and proper hand washing work to stop the spread of Hep A. And second, health departments appear to be acknowledging that and responding accordingly. At least in the cases we’ve dealt with recently, fewer health departments are going public and they’re citing our clients’ strong COVID protocols as the primary reason.
No, very few (if any) of our clients are mandating vaccination, in part because there are many reasons someone may not be vaccinated. Those reasons range from allergies to religious beliefs. While the legality of mandatory vaccination works its way through the courts, encouraging vaccinations through multi-channel communication, assistance in scheduling, time off to get vaccinated and celebrating your vaccination successes are the better route. Just this week, one of our clients was able to avoid exclusions for vaccinated co-workers after an employee tested COVID+. Major win for vaccinated employees!
This is a scenario that’s come up throughout COVID but does seem to be occurring more frequently in the past few weeks - particularly as businesses reach higher capacities. There are no easy answers to this one. We’re seeing more “No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service” signs pop up. And we believe your first commitment is to the health and safety of your teams. Your policy and procedures should be clear, fully vetted by your legal team and followed consistently.