What to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19?
November 17, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidelines for companies that face suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the workplace.
According to the CDC, if an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19:
- Employers should close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person and wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets.
- Employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Employees who test positive for COVID-19 (using a viral test, not an antibody test) should be excluded from work and remain in home isolation if they do not need to be hospitalized. Employers should provide education to employees on what to do if they are sick.
- Employers may need to work with local health department officials to determine which employees may have had close contact with the employee with COVID-19 and who may need to take additional precautions, including exclusion from work and remaining at home.
- Most workplaces should follow the Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure and instruct potentially exposed employees to stay home for 14 days, telework if possible, and self-monitor for symptoms.
- Critical infrastructure workplaces should follow the guidance Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Employees Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19.