Due to the spread of Coronavirus, President Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have declared a state of emergency and are asking employers to monitor the situation and take action to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued interim guidance to businesses and employers and will update as needed and when new information becomes available. We encourage clients to check the CDC webpage and develop plans to follow these important recommendations.
HERE IS A QUICK RUNDOWN OF THE RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES FOR EMPLOYERS TO USE NOW:
- The incubation period for COVID-19 varies between 2 and 14 days.
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home from work.
- Employees showing respiratory illness should be sent home and told to contact the Florida Health Department at 850-245-4444 or the local health department.
- Educate employees about COVID-19 by sharing the CDC Fact Sheets and information pages on “Symptoms” and “If you are Sick.”
- Print CDC posters about washing hands, cough and sneeze etiquette and maintaining good personal hygiene for display.
- Perform enhanced environmental cleaning of common surfaces, such as work stations, countertops, and doorknobs.
- Make disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer available to employees.
- Consider developing an interim company policy for business travel, including canceling business travel, encouraging online/remote enabled meetings and avoiding geographic places with high concentrations of COVID-19 cases.
- Maintain employee confidentiality if there is a positive or suspected COVID-19 case. Inform co-workers who worked in close contact with the person (3-6 feet in the preceding 14 days) to leave work for 14 days and to get tested. Do not disclose the name of the person.
- Practice increased social distancing when possible, including work from home options and telecommuting.
- Review the recent DOL guidance on OSHA and wage and hour issues associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
If an employee becomes infected, has a suspected case, or was in close contact with a person with a confirmed case, have a plan to take action. Read the following article on Comprehensive FAQs for Employers on COVID-19 published from Fisher Phillips law firm.
- Check frequently with the CDC and Florida Department of Health (COVID) websites for updates and the latest recommendations.