The first and most significant step is to ensure that the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 stays at home. The coronavirus is highly infectious, and, once the employee comes to the workplace, it can be quickly transmitted to other staff members.
FREMONT, CA: Since the pandemic started in early 2020, companies have been developing plans to deal with the virus. Employees have been working remotely, and social distance regulations have been in place. Offices have adopted additional cleanliness protocols, and masks have been required.
But what if, adopting all of your company's best measures and efforts to prevent illness from reaching your office, an employee tests positive for COVID-19?
Ask the Infected Employee to Work from Home
The first and most significant step is to ensure that the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 stays at home. The coronavirus is highly infectious, and, once the employee comes to the workplace, it can be quickly transmitted to other staff members. Even if the employee has expended all their sick days, it is necessary to ensure that they can stay at home and away from their colleagues.
Clean All Objects or Things that the Sick Employee Came in Contact with
If an employee who has contracted COVID-19 has returned to work after being exposed, ensure that anything the employee has touched is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. If possible, leave that area immediately. Any COVID-19 particles that may be on the surface may die after a period of time. Anyone who performs the cleaning tasks should be provided with protective equipment since they would be exposed to both viruses and clean chemicals.
Inform Staff and Ask Them to Take Necessary Measures
Inform the other workers if they might have been exposed to coronavirus. According to the CDC, there is a chance of exposure within a distance of six feet. Anyone who came into contact with the affected employee even in the period before testing positive should be informed. However, be careful not to reveal the identity of the employee who tested positive. Revealing the identity of the employee concerned is a breach of their privacy.
Decide When the Employee can Return to Work
If the employee is not exhibiting symptoms of infection and remote work is feasible, working from home could be the best solution. However, if the employee's work is on-site only, it is necessary to determine when they can return to work. How long an employee has to be isolated would depend on the severity of the symptoms. It should be a minimum of two weeks before they are allowed to return to work, even if they exhibit no symptoms.