How can I lower the chance that my staff will get COVID-19?

If you’ve seen the news, been on social media, or talked with anyone lately, then you probably are aware that the number of COVID-19 cases in the United State continues to increase. When you narrow in on Missouri, specifically the local St. Louis area, numbers have been increasing at an alarming rate.

As of Friday, November 27, 2020:

St. Louis County: 49,567

St. Charles County: 20,830

St. Louis: 12,534

Jefferson County: 11,270

Franklin County: 4,676

 

The best way to protect your staff is to prevent exposure. Start by:

  • Staying informed about updates to CDC guidance via the CDC COVID-19 website.
  • Making sure staff are aware of COVID-19 symptoms and requiring staff with any flu-like symptoms to stay home (or be sent home if they develop symptoms while at the facility).
  • Offering telework for staff when feasible, and exploring ways to revise duties that require face-to-face interaction for staff at high-risk for severe illness.
  • Ensuring staff use everyday preventive actions (such as washing hands, avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth, covering their cough).
  • Managing and monitoring staff absenteeism.
    • Alert local public health officials about large increases in staff absenteeism, particularly if absences appear due to respiratory illnesses (like the common cold or the flu, which have symptoms similar to COVID-19).
  • Offering flu shots to staff, as limiting cases of flu can speed up the identification of people with COVID-19.
  • Stocking and providing supplies that help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Routinely cleaning and disinfecting the facility.
  • Consult CDC guidance on recommended PPE for persons in direct contact with COVID-19 cases.

Review the Occupational Safety and Health Administration websiteexternal iconexternal icon and guidance for businesses and employers to identify any additional strategies the facility can use within its role as an employer.

Staff evaluating and providing care for people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should follow the CDC Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and monitor the guidance website regularly for updates to these recommendations. Facilities without on-site health care capacity should make a plan for how they will ensure that suspected COVID-19 cases will be medically isolated, evaluated, tested (if indicated), and provided medical care. Contact and collaborate with your state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments for more specific guidance.