Navigating the workplace in the COVID-19 environment is difficult. Many businesses are needing to shift their organization and establish new policies. Thankfully, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines to help manage COVID testing. Here are some of the key tips to help you get through it.
Strive to Reduce Transmission
As much as possible, do the things you can to reduce the likelihood of someone in the workforce getting sick. Establish procedures for interacting with one another, install plexiglass where necessary, wear masks, and maintain social distance.
There should also be preventative screening to identify COVID symptoms. For instance, many workplaces require a temperature check before entering the premises. Contact tracing can also help prevent spreading the virus. If anyone has come into close contact with another person who has tested positive, they should move forward to receive testing.
Be Consistent in Testing and Reporting
Testing and reporting must be carried out in a way that protects privacy and confidentiality, including contact tracing. This means that no matter which organization (doctor’s office, public health department, clinic, etc.) carries out the COVID testing, it should have the same accuracy.
All of the testing results should be held to the same standard as regular medical records. No one should have access to that information unless the patient has given permission. Only then can it be shared with an employer, family member, or third-party. Cases should also be reported to local government agencies in a timely manner.
Once there is a positive test, it is important to understand what should be next. The CDC breaks it down into stages. Anyone who is in close contact with someone who tested positive should be tested and quarantined as soon as possible. If a negative test result is received, the individual should receive follow-up testing every three days for the two-week period.
Have a Plan-of-Action
Testing is only a good thing if you have a plan in place in the event of a positive test result. There should be a list of direct actions. Interviewing and testing potentially exposed individuals may be necessary.
Any individual who has tested positive should go into isolation for the two-week quarantine period. Exposed individuals should self-quarantine until receiving a negative result from a health official. Test results typically take up to three days.
Add Additional Staff Members to Cover Changes
In the event someone in your lab tests positive, it is important to have a comprehensive sick leave policy to ensure they are well before returning to work. It is also key to have a plan for filling gaps in your staff when people are out. Implementing the help of contract workers or part-time employees can assist you during this time.
Adding some additional resources to your staff can help you stay organized during this time. If you need to make changes or additions to your team during the pandemic, Staffing Resource Group can help you with recruitment.