CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) PREVENTION & CONTROL PLAN
Background & Purpose
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has spread from China to many other countries around the world, including the United States. Depending on the severity of COVID-19’s international impacts, outbreak conditions – including those rising to the level of a pandemic – can affect all aspects of daily life, including travel, trade, tourism, food supplies, and financial markets.
- The purpose of this plan is to reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions to COMPANY employees, customers, visitors, and the public.
- This COVID-19 guidance plan is based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so.
- Employers and workers should use this planning guidance to help identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement. Additional guidance may be needed as COVID-19 outbreak conditions change, including as new information about the virus, its transmission, and impacts, becomes available.
- Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can cause illness ranging from mild to severe and, in some cases, can be fatal. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some people infected with the virus have reported experiencing other non-respiratory symptoms. Other people, referred to as asymptomatic cases, have experienced no symptoms at all.
- According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
- How COVID-19 Spreads
- 1- Although the first human cases of COVID-19 likely resulted from exposure to infected animals, infected
- people can spread SARS-CoV-2 to other people.
- 2- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person- to-person, including:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). b. Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land
- in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- 3- It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.
- 4- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (i.e., experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this type of asymptomatic transmission with this new coronavirus, but this is also not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- 5- The CDC website provides the latest information about COVID-19 transmission:
- a. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
Prevention & Control Practices
- For most employers, protecting workers will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures. As appropriate, all employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices, including:
- 1- Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.
- 2- Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
- 3- Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
- 4- Provide customers and the public with tissues and trash receptacles.
- 5- Employers should explore whether they can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies.
- 6- Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
- 7- Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment.
- When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. b. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-
- based on data for harder to kill viruses. c. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).
- Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick People, if Appropriate
Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting workers, customers, visitors, and others at a worksite.
COMPANY should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.
All COMPANY employees shall follow all standard practices for reporting illnesses, when they are sick, and/or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Where appropriate, COMPANY shall take precautions for immediately isolating people who have signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19.
- Move potentially infectious people to a location away from workers, customers, and other visitors. Although most worksites do not have specific isolation rooms, designated areas with closable doors may serve as isolation rooms until potentially sick people can be removed from the worksite.
- Take steps to limit spread of the respiratory secretions of a person who may have COVID-19.
- Provide a face mask, if feasible and available, and ask the person to wear it, if tolerated. Note: A face mask (also called a surgical mask, procedure mask, or other similar terms) on a patient or other sick person should not be confused with PPE for a worker; the mask acts to contain potentially infectious respiratory secretions at the source (i.e., the person’s nose and mouth).
- If possible, isolate people suspected of having COVID-19 separately from those with confirmed cases of the virus to prevent further transmission – particularly in worksites where medical screening, triage, or
- Communicate Workplace Flexibility and Protections
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies
Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.