WASHINGTON (WCMH) — On Wednesday, the White House Task Force, CDC, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency provided new strategies aimed at helping essential workers quickly return to work after potential exposure to COVID-19.
These tools apply to critical workers including first responders, workers in food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, information technology, transportation, energy, and government facilities. The agencies recommend critical workers continue to work, provided they remain asymptomatic and take additional precautions to protect themselves and the community from the spread of the virus.
The guidance applies to critical employees who are considered exposed but who do not have symptoms, including those who:
– Are a household or intimate partner of someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
– Had close contact (within 6 feet) with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
These employees should monitor themselves for symptoms, such as fever or cough, and only report to work if symptoms are not present. At all times in the workplace, all employees are encouraged to practice social distancing. Those who have been exposed to a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should always wear a cloth face covering for at least 14 days after the last exposure.
Employers should measure temperatures and assess symptoms before any exposed employees enter a facility. Additional precautions include increased frequency of workplace cleaning and disinfecting, the elimination of shared headsets and staggering employee breaks.
Any employee who develops symptoms while on the job should go home immediately. This interim guidance is in line with CDC’s recommendations for healthcare workers caring for those sick with COVID-19.