COVID-19 FAQs: Business and Employers
It’s more important than ever to make the health and safety of your employees a priority. COVID-19 (coronavirus) is highly contagious, but there are steps you can take to help protect your team.
What should be my primary source of information for COVID-19 as it relates to my business and employees?
Are there steps I can take to prepare my workplace?
What are the general recommendations regarding employee status and return-to-work guidance?
Should I alert someone if one of my employees has a confirmed COVID-19 infection?
When my employee is cleared to return to work, what protocol should he/she follow?
Q: What should be my primary source of information for COVID-19 as it relates to my business and employees?
A: Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
Q: Are there steps I can take to prepare my workplace?
A: Yes, LVHN Occupational Medicine offers a variety of services from COVID-19 Antibody testing to medical director services and well-being support. View all their COVID-19 Return to work services at Populytics.com/return-to-work.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 is also a good resource (this link is best viewed in Chrome).
Q: What are the general recommendations regarding employee status and return-to-work guidance?
A: There are different protocols based on employee symptoms and circumstances.
- Sick with fever, sore throat, cough, or flu-like symptoms:
They should stay home and get a COVID-19 pre-screening:
- COMPLETE AN E-VISIT Complete a detailed questionnaire to submit to their provider by visiting https://www.mylvhn.org/mychart/Authentication/Login or the MyLVHN app. *
- CALL THE MyLVHN Nurse Information Line 1-888-402-LVHN (5846). *
- SCHEDULE AN LVHN VIDEO VISIT by downloading the MyLVHN app. *
*You must be in the state of Pennsylvania to receive screening due to medical licensing regulations.
- The following should be achieved before returning to work after COVID-19 illness or suspected COVID-19 illness even if the person wasn’t tested:
- Fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It’s recommended that the person’s body temperature not be above 100 degrees when returning to work. The Pennsylvania Department of Health states that individuals with a 100.4 body temperature or higher should be sent home. Individual temperatures may vary based on the type of thermometer used, environmental factors and the individual’s usual body temperature. Discuss with a medical professional if needed.
- At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- Resolution or almost total resolution of respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath). This means the person should:
- Be able to take three deep breathes without coughing
- Be able to climb a flight of steps (10 to 12) without significantly more shortness of breath than the person’s usual baseline
- Be able to have a 5-minute conversation without coughing
If the person has fatigue or any other residual symptoms, he/she will require more recovery at home.
- A note from the individual’s personal health care provider, if obtainable. The CDC asks employers not to require a health care provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or return to work. Health care provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely manner.
Q: Should I alert someone if one of my employees has a confirmed COVID-19 infection?
A: Yes, local health bureaus should be notified if there is known contact in your organization with someone who has a confirmed COVID-19 infection.
- Allentown Health Bureau: 610-437-7760
- Bethlehem Health Bureau: 610-865-7083
- Pennsylvania Department of Health: 1-877-724-3258
Q: When my employee is cleared to return to work, what protocol should he/she follow?
A: Your employee should:
- Have their temperature taken each shift they report to work, twice daily is advised
- Wear a mask in the workplace, wash/sanitize hands frequently and wear gloves as per work location protocol
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet or greater. Also, limit contact with others as much as possible.
- Report to a manager any worsening illness symptoms, issues with wearing a mask or if the mask interferes with normal work activities.
- Maintain excellent hydration throughout the work shift and increase consumption of water and other hydrating liquids
Q: What if I have questions?
A: Contact HealthWorks clinics directly if you have any questions.
- Allentown: 610-402-9285
- Bethlehem: 484-884-2249
- Bethlehem Township: 610-866-9675
- Trexlertown: 610-402-0047
Or you can email to Scott.Appnel@lvhn.org
Q: What else should I do?
A: In addition to referring to the CDC guidelines, it’s important to review and assess your company’s policies and protocols.
Get a COVID-19 Pre-Screening
Help is available through an E-Visit, video screening or our nurse helpline.Learn more