Contract Tracing and the Workplace
Some states have, or may soon have, mandates around contract tracing. Regardless, CDC Guidelines have processes employers should follow to identify and prevent the spread of infection in the workplace.
Some steps employers should take:
Have updated policies and procedures around Covid-19, employee safety and what to do if an infection occurs.
If an employee(s) has had close contact* with an infected individual in the workplace, he/she should maintain social distancing and self-monitor for 14 days.
With an infected employee, the employer should conduct a "6-15-48 analysis": identify those that worked within 6 feet of the infected employee, for 15 minutes (accumulated time within a 24 hour time period) in the 48 hours prior to when co-worker exhibited symptoms or, if asymptomatic, 48 hours prior to the positive test result.
Conduct a confidential interview** with the infected employee to help assist the employer to identify other employees who may have had close contact with the employee and who could also be infected.
Rethink onsite operations so as to promote safety from Covid-19 including more social distancing, continuous employee education around CDC Guidelines, encourage remote work where possible, virtual meetings and conduct employee location monitoring to minimize contact.
Maintain all preventative measures including cleaning/disinfectant protocols, mask wearing, air filtration, employee behaviors when at the workplace.
Finally: train, train and re-train the work staff to ensure employees are aware of their obligations keeping themselves and others safe and your commitment to maintain a safe workplace during this time.
* Close contact: at least 15 consecutive minutes and within 6 feet of an infected person.
** Confidential Interview: this discussion with the employee must be confidential because you are talking about the employee's medical diagnosis and health information. Advise the employee the reason for the interview and that you do not intend to discuss the information he/she may reveal. Ask the employee to waive confidentiality but to discuss it with an attorney first, if they prefer.
Contact us if we can help you through these issues.