During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses took all the measures they could to prevent infection, including allowing employees to work from home. However, as more businesses allow employees to come back to the office, some of the rules that were in place are not being enforced. This means that there is a risk of employees getting infected. So, how can businesses respond when one of their employees tests positive or shows signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
Ask Infected Employees to Stay at or Work from Home
Employees who may have contracted COVID-19 could have symptoms that lead to hospitalization, they or may have taken a COVID-19 test for a myriad of other reasons. Regardless of how a business owner finds out that their employee is infected, they should ask the employee to stay at home or work from home if possible. Employees who test positive, even those not showing any symptoms, should quarantine themselves for 14 days as recommended.
Notify Other Employees
Businesses have a duty to let other employees know that their colleague has tested positive for COVID-19. Do note that you are prohibited from revealing the identity of the affected employee even though you have a duty to let other employees know so they can take proper measures to protect themselves.
Ask the Other Employees to Go for Testing
The CDC recommends that businesses ask their employees to get tested for COVID if even only one employee gets infected. This has the dual result of preparing employees who may be infected to deal with the infection and protecting other employees who may not be infected. It is also a great way of knowing which employees are infectious but not showing any signs and symptoms of the illness.
Because there may be delays in testing where your business operates, businesses should get in touch with providers offering private COVID testing Minnesota. These providers carry out COVID tests daily and are therefore a perfect option for businesses that do not want to wait for the congestion to ease at their local hospitals.
Sanitize the Office
Deep cleaning the office once an employee tests positive is critical. This is because the virus can linger for several hours on various surfaces if an infected employee touches it or sneezes on it. The most important areas to pay close attention to include areas that are touched by a lot of people. These include door knobs, faucets, countertops, and computer hardware (keyboards, mice, etc.).
There are various ways to sanitize the office to ensure it is completely free of the virus including manual cleaning and ultraviolet disinfection. These cleaning procedures can be repeated every few days, especially in cases where a business cannot be sure if one or more of its employees is asymptomatic.
It is devastating once an employee contracts COVID-19. Businesses have a duty to protect not only their sick employees but also those who may be infected and those who are not. Businesses can take the measures outlined above to reduce the infection risk for healthy employees.