COVID-19 FAQs: Business and Employers

During this unprecedented time, 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?

Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.

What are the general recommendations regarding employee status and return-to-work guidance?

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 free COVID-19 pre-screening:
  • COMPLETE AN E-VISIT Complete a detailed questionnaire to submit to their provider by visiting MyLVHN.org 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.
  • Recent international travel
    After traveling to a Level 3 COVID-19 alert country, your employee should implement a 14-day home quarantine beginning on the day that he/she left the country. You can find specific information on the CDC website.  

Should I alert someone if one of my employees has a confirmed COVID-19 infection?

Yes, local health bureaus should be notified if there is known contact in your organization with someone who has a confirmed COVID-19 infection.

Are there steps I can take to prepare my workplace?

Yes, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 is a good resource (this link is best viewed in Chrome).
You can also contact LVHN Occupational Medicine for questions and/or consultation.

When my employee is cleared to return to work, what protocol should he/she follow?

  • 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 manger 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

What if I have questions?

Contact HealthWorks clinics directly if you have any questions.

 

Or you can email to Scott.Appnel@lvhn.org

What else should I do?

  • In addition to referring to the CDC guidelines, it’s important to review and assess your company’s policies and protocols.