HR Hotline: What Happens When an Employee Has COVID-19?
Q: If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and the employer shuts down for quarantine and cleaning, does the company need any state approvals to reopen?
A: Right now, we’re unaware of any state or regulatory approvals necessary for a workplace to reopen after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis among the workforce.
It’s advisable to either isolate the work area of the diagnosed employee, or if the employee has had contact with other areas of the workplace to close the facility for a deep, thorough cleaning.
Additionally, it’s advisable to check with the diagnosed employee to ensure they have appropriate medical care, and if they can identify all coworkers and customers they’ve had close contact within the last 14 days.
Management should reach out to those exposed people and, without naming the diagnosed worker, advise them to self-quarantine, and monitor their own health for a 14-day period.
Each diagnosed or sick employee is required to get medical clearance before returning to work.
Besides these efforts to bring about the best health outcome of each affected person, employers need to do this right to ensure they retain the confidence of their employees.
Employees may stop showing up for work when it might otherwise be suitable to return to the workplace.
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