Business FAQs surrounding COVID-19

You have a lot of information available to you regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be difficult navigating all of the guidelines and recommendations and applying them to your business.

That’s why we’ve put together some answers to commonly asked questions surrounding COVID-19. This isn’t an exhaustive list—the CDC has a very informative site that covers numerous topics. We’ve selected some of them to share here. We recommend consulting with an employment attorney or human resources professional regarding your specific circumstances.

What’s the protocol if an employee comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms?

Immediately separate the employee from others and send them home. Direct your employee to follow CDC guidelines and follow return-to-work criteria.

When should an employee suspected of or confirmed to have COVID-19 return to work?

Employees shouldn’t return to work until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider and state or local health department.

Do employees need a doctor’s note or test results to return?

Don’t require a sick employee to show proof of their illness to qualify for sick leave or to return to work. Communicate the proper guidelines and keep an open dialog with the employee before their return. Be compliant when bringing your employees back to work.

Should employee screening be part of the reintroduction process?

Screening employees is an option—you can check for high temperature and look for signs of illness, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and flushed cheeks. Other practical business health practices include social distancing, partition controls, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Consult the OSHA and CDC websites for more information.

Do my employees need to wear face coverings or personal protective equipment (PPE) while working?

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain—which can include the workplace. In addition, your state may have specific requirements you should be familiar with. Face coverings aren’t an appropriate substitute for workplaces that require respirators to control some other type of exposure. Continue to follow your routine policies and consult the OSHA and CDC websites for more information.

If you have questions, please reach out to your assigned safety consultant or contact us.

This document is made available by Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively “SIAMCO”) with the understanding that SIAMCO is not engaged in the practice of law, nor is it rendering legal advice. The information contained in this document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Legal obligations may vary by state and locality. No one should act on the information contained in this document without legal advice from competent and licensed local professionals. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS DISTRIBUTED BY SIAMCO “AS-IS”, WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES. SIAMCO WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY LOSSES OR DAMAGES CAUSED, OR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN CAUSED, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY THIS DOCUMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH CLAIM IS BASED ON CONTRACT, WARRANTY, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE AND FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AND DEATH) OR OTHER GROUNDS.
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