With a quarantine time of 14 days, many employees will be hard-pressed to avoid the early symptoms of the Coronavirus; putting businesses at risk for internal outbreaks. But, one of the proposals for continuous business operations without interruptions due to the virus, is to advocate and educate employees of the symptoms, and encourage self-quarantine if they are at risk.
Some are arguing that the publicity of the outbreak is exaggerated, but the threat of contamination IS real. The respiratory droplets produced from a cough or sneeze are what spreads the infection. Commonly, the largest risk is that one of these microscopic droplets will be inhaled by individuals in the area, but public health officials also believe that it may be possible to contract the virus by touching a surface that has been contaminated, and then touching the face.
Because this virus is being spread so easily, the CDC is encouraging self-quarantine for anyone who may have been exposed to the virus. As a manager, employer or organization who relies on daily operations to maintain cash flow, this can be a difficult pill to swallow. Recognizing that an essential employee who is symptomatic of the disease can be out of commission for a minimum of 14 days is almost unbearable, but if they are, in fact, infected – the spread of the virus to all employees would present a much worse situation.
Fisher Phillips, a nationwide law firm, has put together a team of attorneys specializing in various studies of law to address the most commonly discussed employment-related issues surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus. This taskforce has developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which will be continuously monitored and updated as changes and events warrant. You can view this document at the link below:
As the news and studies provide updates and insights to this virus every day, it is important to monitor the area in which you live and work and be cautious of those who surround you. The CDC is recommending businesses do their best to avoid spread of the virus. Some suggestions that are being provided are: require sick employees to stay home, develop sick leave policies that don’t punish employees or require a doctor’s note for absence, and ask employees to inform management if their family members are sick. The CDC also suggests that businesses should prepare for multiple cases of employee absences and continue to emphasize the importance of hygiene and handwashing.