COVID Employer Resources

As our region continues to feel the medical and economic impact of the Coronavirus, Healthworks and Centra are actively standing alongside our community and our business partners in an effort to support our economy, strengthen our businesses, and keep our community healthy.  While the situation is constantly changing, we want to assure you that we are here to help with guidance and resources. This page offers information with links and downloads to support your efforts in safely reopening your businesses. 

Employer Resource Guide

We recognize there are many different sources and recommendations directed at employers related to reopening in the midst of COVID-19.  We have reviewed the information in the following links and believe it to be scientifically factual.  We recommend these sources to you for use during the continued evolution of this pandemic.

The main resource we look to in the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Use the following link for Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM25771

If you are a small business, reference the following link which includes 10 tips to help keep employees safe: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-small-business.html

The following link provides easy-to-follow, science-based recommendations for a wide variety of businesses from general office settings to rideshare groups. https://www.backtoworksafely.org/

Tips for Businesses

Roles of businesses and employers should be targeted at the 3 primary areas identified below.  To the extent possible, measures should be specific to your workplace, identify each area and task where exposure might occur, and include control measures to mitigate such exposures.

Prevent and Reduce Transmission Among Employees

  1. Encourage sick employees to stay home
  2. Consider conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks (e.g., symptom-based or temp checks)
  3. Identify where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work
  4. Separate and remove any employees who report with symptoms
  5. Know what actions to take should an employee be suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19
  6. Educate employees about steps they can take to protect themselves at work and at home
  7. Offer alternatives to employees who must ride share or use public transportation

 

Maintain Healthy Business Operations

  1. Identify a workplace coordinator responsible for COVID-19 issues.
  2. Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies/practices.
  3. Protect employees at higher risk for severe illness (e.g., those over age 65 or with chronic medical conditions). Telework or segregated/isolated workspaces should be encouraged.
  4. Communicate COVID workplace policies clearly, frequently and via multiple methods.
  5. Identify which of your functions are essential and must be operational in early phases of reopening.
  6. Have a plan for operating if absenteeism spikes.
    1. Establish policies and practices for social distancing and PPE use when distancing not feasible.

     

    Maintain a Healthy Work Environment

    1. Consider engineering controls where feasible (e.g., upgrade ventilation system).
    2. Ensure the safety of your building water system and devices following prolonged shut down.
    3. Give employees, customers and visitors what they need to clean their hands and cover their coughs/sneezes
    4. Perform routine cleaning (disinfection recommendations available at link above).
    5. Perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected/confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the facility (disinfection recommendations available at link above).
    6. Limit travel and advise employees if they travel to take additional precautions and preparations
    7. Minimize risk to employees when planning meetings and gatherings (see table in document at link).

     

    Lastly, industry-specific guidelines for reopening have been published by the American Industrial Hygiene Association and can be found here:  https://www.backtoworksafely.org/

    Links for Businesses

1) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html

2) https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions/business-and-workplaces/

3) http://acoem.org/COVID-19-Resource-Center/COVID-19-Q-A-Forum

The CDC has provided safety recommendation for specific workers in various occupations. This link also provides information on coping and reliance for your workers during the COVID crisis.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/worker-safety-support/index.html

Additional Resources

OSHA Worker Exposure Risk Category Pyramid (9Apr20): https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/National-Coronavirus-Response-a-Road-Map-to-Recovering-2.pdf

Guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

ACOEM Statement on ‘Getting America Safely Back to Work: http://acoem.org/acoem/media/PDF-Library/Position-Statement-RTW-COVID-19-4-27-2020.pdf 

OSHA’s COVID-19 info page: www.osha.gov/covid-19

CDC’s COVID-19 info page: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov

 

Download the Employer Covid Reference Guide PDF