New CDC Interim Guidance for Essential Workers Exposed to Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Patient

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From the CDC

Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.

A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of
time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.

Critical Infrastructure workers who have had an exposure but remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:

  • Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and
    assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks
    should happen before the individual enters the facility.
  • Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or
    symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
  • Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in
    the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue
    facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the
    event of shortages.
  • Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social
    distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
    Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as
    offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.

If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home
immediately. Surfaces in their workspace should be cleaned and disinfected.
Information on persons who had contact with the ill employee during the
time the employee had symptoms and 2 days prior to symptoms should be
compiled. Others at the facility with close contact within 6 feet of the
employee during this time would be considered exposed.
Employers should implement the recommendations in the Interim Guidance
for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease
2019 to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Additional information about identifying critical infrastructure during
COVID-19 can be found on the DHS CISA website or the CDC’s specific First
Responder Guidance page

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