In an attempt to keep critical infrastructure from being crippled by worker shortages as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the CDC issued new interim guidance on Wednesday, April 9, 2020, directed at workers in critical industries who may have been exposed to the virus.
The new advice allows potentially exposed workers to continue working, rather than self-isolate, provided that they remain asymptomatic and adhere to additional protective measures. The guidance pertains to 16 workforce sectors including workers in energy, transportation, and government facilities. The guidance defines “potential exposure” as being in the same household or having close contact with an individual who has been confirmed as having or is suspected to have COVID-19. This includes contact in the 48 hours prior to the individual become symptomatic.
Despite the precautions listed below, the CDC confirms that any employee who has direct contact with an individual with suspected exposure will also be considered to have been exposed.
Critical workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 but remain asymptomatic are advised to undergo the following:
- daily pre-screening for temperature and other related symptoms prior to entering any facility;
- undergo continuous monitoring during their shift;
- wear a mask at all times for 14 days following their last exposure;
- maintain social distancing; and
- routinely disinfect offices, bathrooms, shared electronic equipment and common areas.
Additionally, employers should increase the frequency of office cleaning, attempt to increase air exchange in confined rooms, and stagger work schedules.
We encourage you to visit Holland & Hart’s Coronavirus Resource Site, a consolidated informational resource offering practical guidelines and proactive solutions to help companies protect their business interests and their workforce. The dynamic Resource Site is regularly refreshed with new topics and updates as the COVID-19 outbreak and the legal and regulatory responses continue to evolve. Sign up to receive updates and for upcoming webinars.