As COVID-19 vaccine rates increased and infection rates dropped throughout the spring and early summer, many states and businesses relaxed Coronavirus safety protocols. The World Health Organization and other professional groups, however, suggest employers stay vigilant and assess the risk of work-related exposure to COVID-19. Here’s a few recommendations for how to continue Coronavirus safety protocols in your workplace.
As more infectious variants continue to emerge and spread across the nation and abroad, experts urge travelers to take extra precautions. Masking and social distancing while away can help prevent travelers from returning to work with the virus, but those aren’t enforceable measures. You can’t control how employees live their personal lives away from the office, but you do have the ability to give them a COVID-19 test when they return.
Lean on organizations like The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), who provide travel recommendations for a variety of scenarios. Document your chosen testing parameters and communicate them in writing to all employees so they know what to expect before and after taking off. For example, your team must determine if tests will be required for both international and domestic travel, or just certain states with high infection numbers. Whatever you decide, set expectations across the board to eliminate confusion. These kinds of travel-related precautions just might protect your team from new strains and preventable sick time.
Temperature checks, and other on-site health assessments, are one of the simplest and most cost-effective prevention tools available. If your team is back in the office, and you want to remain in the office, require (or at least recommend) daily temperature screenings for each employee. These efforts can uncover potential symptoms early in the day, and prevent COVID-19 spread in the workplace.
Discovery Health began offering employee temperature screenings in 2011after the H1N1 outbreak – long before the onset of the Coronavirus.- so we have fully developed, start-ready programs for employers of all sizes. One benefit of partnering with a team like ours is that we handle all the paperwork and come prepared with all supplies and professional staff. We even outline the screening process and provide detailed instructions for how many checks each employee can receive before getting sent home, when they can return to work, etc.
Plan B & C
Increased testing after travel and health/temperature checks will all help minimize the spread around the office. As the labor shortage continues, however, companies have a keen interest in protecting the employees that already exist on payroll. Remind staff to stay home if they feel sick, and continue to wash hands regularly. too.
In the event of an office outbreak, or extensive local spread in the community, be prepared with a “Plan B” (and C) that protects and preserves the operation. Consider these possibilities:
- Reinstate mask requirements for everyone entering the building.
- Return to working at home.
- Spread out employees at the office.
- Create rotations with half the team on site and half at home.
- Eliminate workplace visitors.
- Opt for virtual meetings (even for on-site employees).
You’ll also need to determine if these protocols apply to individual offices (i.e. local conditions dictate when and if they get applied) or if Plan B applies companywide. Obviously these protocols vary by industry as some job roles cannot be performed at home. Still, consider what works for your organization and put these backup plans in place now so your team will know what to expect and how to proceed later.
Discovery Health Services
Keeping your workforce safe and intact while also protecting the future of the business looks different for each organization. Discovery Health Services will help your team navigate this uncharted territory with corporate COVID testing, employee temperature screening and much more. Call us at 855.623.2466 for a free assessment and action plan today.