Responding to a Positive COVID-19 Test Checklist

MyTPG Blog
Published: 05/13/20 6:01 PM

Responding to a Positive COVID-19 Test Checklist

This article was published on: 05/13/20 6:01 PM



The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has challenged employers to plan for how they would respond to a positive test in their workplace. Employers are responsible for handling the situation swiftly to protect the health of other employees while preserving the affected employee’s confidentiality. In addition to notifying the company and its customers, employers must also disinfect the office and evaluate next steps. If you’re in this situation, you may be wondering what you need to do. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines for how employers can respond, and this checklist provides an outline of steps for employers to consider.


Download the PDF version: Responding to a Positive COVID-19 Test Checklist.pdf

This checklist is merely a guideline. It is neither meant to be exhaustive nor meant to be construed as legal advice. It does not address all potential compliance issues with federal, state or local standards. Consult your licensed representative at TPG Insurance Services Agency or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.

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Employer Preparedness Plans YES NO N/A
Does your organization have COVID-19 testing practices in place that comply with all applicable federal and local guidance?

 

Does your organization have a planned response in place in the event of an employee testing positive for COVID-19?

 

If yes, has a planned response been communicated to employees?

 

 

Addressing Employee Who Tested Positive  
Calmly and empathetically address the employee to discuss next steps and assistance.

 

Ensure the employee that their identity will remain confidential.

 

Question the employee about with whom they have been in contact within the last 14 days.

 

Determine if the employee has been in the workplace within the last seven days.

 

Ensure the employee goes into isolation, and help them coordinate taking leave or paid time off until they’ve recovered.

 

Refer the employee to local health resources.

 

 

Communications  
Notify any co-workers or customers with whom the ill employee had been in contact.

 

Make determinations on any employees who should begin self-isolation for 14 days. Communicate steps for self-isolation, including taking leave, paid time off or remote work arrangements.

 

Notify the rest of the company by email or letter that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep employee’s identity confidential.

 

Notify employees on next steps, including details for a partial or full closing of the workplace for disinfecting.

 

If planning on having any or all employees work from home or closing the office, disclose this information in the communication.

 

 

Close Down the Workplace  
Determine whether the workplace will be partially or fully closing for disinfecting.

 

If feasible, allow eligible employees to work from home during this time.

 

Ensure all temporary closing information is communicated to employees,  including whom this affects, remote work expectations, paid time off, leave and expected timelines for reopening the workplace.

 

Review provisions included in the newly instituted federal leave act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), should you need to close the office or if employees opt to take leave due to COVID-19. Certain employers are required to provide employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 through Dec. 31, 2020.

 

Create plans for only cleaning staff to be in infected areas for 72 hours during the disinfecting period.

 

 

Preparing for Disinfecting  
If the employee has been in the workplace within the last seven days, begin preparations for disinfecting the workplace.

 

Ensure necessary cleaning supplies are stocked, including soap and disinfectants listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

 

Ensure personal protective equipment is stocked for cleaning teams, including gloves, gowns and face coverings.

 

Evacuate planned areas for disinfecting for at least 72 hours.

 

 

Disinfecting the Workplace  
Close off all areas visited by the person, open windows and use ventilating fans with airflow. After opening up the airflow, wait 24 hours before beginning cleaning.

 

After 24 hours, cleaning staff should begin disinfecting all areas and equipment used by the person.

 

Ensure cleaning staff is using personal protective equipment, including gloves, gowns and face coverings.

 

Begin by cleaning all hard surfaces with soap and water.

 

Apply a disinfectant to all surfaces. The EPA lists appropriate disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

 

Clean soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs and drapes. For soft surfaces, best cleaning practices are similar to those of hard surfaces. However, you can clean by laundering if possible. If not an option, continue to clean with a disinfectant.

 

Clean electronic devices, according to manufacturers’ instructions, or with alcohol-based cleaning solutions with at least 70% alcohol.

 

Clean soft laundry items, such as towels, linens and work-related clothing using manufacturers’ instructions, using the warmest possible water setting.

 

When employees return after 72 hours, resume routine cleaning routines.

 

 

Use this checklist as a guide when planning how to respond to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. For any items you are unable to check, consider if any updates to your organization’s response could help protect the health and safety of employees and guests. By preparing in advance, employers can swiftly respond to the employee, effectively notify the rest of their organization and make plans for moving forward. TPG Insurance Services is here to help during these uncertain times. Contact us today for additional COVID-19 resources and guidance for how your company can respond to it.


Download the PDF version: Responding to a Positive COVID-19 Test Checklist.pdf