Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home
Flattening the curve is all about keeping the sick away from those who are healthy. Any employee who has symptoms of COVID-19 or any other illness should report to their supervisor immediately. Employees should stay home when they exhibit symptoms such as
- Shortness of Breath
Only when employees are fully recovered should they return. They should be encouraged to self-quarantine and follow up with a healthcare provider.
Note: If any employee has a sick family member with COVID-19 at home, they should notify their supervisors and stay home from work.
Monitor Employees Daily
Check each employee at the start of the day. If any worker appears to have any COVID-19 symptoms, they should be separated from coworkers, customers, and staff. They should go home immediately and wait to determine their status before returning from work. If their symptoms worsen or they test positive for COVID-19, they should not return until fully recovered.
If an employer has an employee test positive for the illness, the employer is to notify all staff regarding their possible exposure while maintaining confidentiality. Employees should then self-monitor daily for the three main symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Educating your employees on staying healthy and reducing virus transmission is essential. Employees should be told to:
- Always stay six feet away from one another.
- Not touch mouth, nose, or eyes.
- Wash hands frequently.
- Cover coughs with their elbows.
- Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not accessible.
- Keep all surfaces clean and disinfected.
Keep in mind that you, as an employer, need to make necessities available to your employees so they can function within these confines. This might mean:
- Separating cubicles or desks to maintain a six-foot distance.
- Providing hand sanitizer for each person’s workstation.
- Keeping the bathroom appropriately stocked with soap, water, and paper towels.
- Informing employees about safety and health regulations.
- Providing sick-leave and work from home opportunities for all non-essential staff members.
Reorganize Your Business Structure
These times call for special measures for all businesses. Employers are responsible for keeping their workplace as clean and healthy for employees as possible. How best can you do this?
Maintain flexible work policies that include sick leave and work from home capabilities. If your employees have no sick time left, but they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, they should be allowed to take emergency sick leave without penalty.
Flex your business practices, so you can operate off-site as much as possible. Identify alternate supply chains for essential goods and services you offer in case your current supply chain gets disrupted.
Employees who are sick or living with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 cannot come to work. Plan to prepare for absent employees. Determine how your critical functions can still take place if your employee count decreases dramatically.
Promote a Healthy Work Environment
Employers must do what they can to ensure as healthy and safe a working environment as possible. This means:
Hygiene Support: Provide hand sanitizers throughout the office. Place educational posters around the workplace to educate employees about their responsibilities to stop the spread.
Routine Cleaning: Ensure all frequently touched surfaces are disinfected and cleaned. Phone, desk, and workspace sharing should be prohibited.
Meeting Reduction: Reduce meetings where possible. If meetings need to occur, plan alternate attendance options such as internet-based meetings, or a minimum of six feet of space per person when requiring in-person attendance.
*Always Follow Specific Rules In Your State*