Employees in Essential Businesses Exposed to COVID-19 May Remain at Work, CDC Says

April 10, 2020 - 8:49 AM 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance on safe practices for workers in essential businesses who might have been exposed to COVID-19. Under that guidance (available here), such workers may continue to work at the employer’s worksite, subject to the employer taking certain precautions. The guidance is interim, and employers should be alert to future changes. According to the CDC, “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.” 

The CDC offers these precautions:
  • 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 the 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 a distance of six feet from all other employees, and should practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
  • Disinfect and Clean Workspaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared electronic equipment routinely.
It is important to note: symptomatic employees should be sent home immediately. 

If you have questions, or would like additional information, please contact Bob Small, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s Employment Practices Group, at 215.495.6541, or via email at rsmall@regerlaw.com.

We are working with clients to field inquiries and provide advice and guidance in a wide range of areas and industries during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please be sure to check back regularly for updated information. If you have an immediate need, please contact your attorney directly, or email us at info@regerlaw.com, and one of our dedicated attorneys will get back to you shortly.