The CDC provides valuable resources for businesses and employers regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
For the most detailed and up-to-date recommendations from the CDC, visit: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers. Businesses should also review OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF) workbook.
Recommended strategies for employers to use:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning.
- Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
- Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, 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 (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
CDC Recommendations for an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan
- Identify possible work-related exposure and health risks to your employees.
- Review HR policies to make sure that practices are consistent with public health recommendations and existing state and federal workplace laws.
- Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance between employees and between employees and others.
- Identify essential business functions, jobs or roles, and critical elements within your supply chains required to maintain business operations. Plan for how your business will operate if there is increasing absenteeism or these supply chains are interrupted.
- Set up authorities, triggers, and procedures for activating and terminating the company’s infectious disease outbreak response plan, altering business operations. Work closely with your local health officials to identify these triggers.
- Plan to minimize exposure between employees and also between employees and the public.
- Establish a process to communicate information to employees and business partners on your response plans. Anticipate employee fear, anxiety, rumors, and misinformation and plan communications accordingly.
- Determine how you will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children if dismissed from school.
- Consider cancelling large work-related meetings or events.