After a reasonably quiet summer, Cardinal has seen a recent spike in COVID-19 related issues. Among them, are concerns that employees are contracting the virus outside of the workplace, or have been in contact with positive COVID-19 cases. This has resulted in concerns from co-workers about how, and when these employees can return to work. Consequently, we have also seen a sudden increase in the amount of emergency paid sick leave requests. It appears this trend is not just anecdotal. Here is Oregon’s case trend. Due to the sudden increase in cases, this is a great time to review your COVID-19 Plan.
Revisit Your COVID-19 Plan
Dust off the COVID-19 Plan you created when you either re-opened or had to make changes to your operations. Things may have changed since you presumably created it five or so months ago. Is the plan still applicable to the way you are now doing business? Does anything need to be updated due to changes in COVID-19 requirements?
Some of our co-employers have recently dealt with the hassle of doing contact tracing with their local county. Others are having sick employees miss work and/or having them quarantine for two weeks. The unluckier ones, thus far, have had to close for a brief amount of time. We suggest you take a moment to revisit your procedures. Doing so with increased vigilance may save you a considerable amount of time later.
Review Your Procedures with Staff
Review whatever procedures you have in place with your employees. If your business is in retail, are your employees requiring customers to use face-coverings and maintain a six-foot distance from others? If you have a break room, are people practicing social distancing during their breaks? Are surfaces being disinfected on a regular basis?
Remind people to be cautious. Some employees may not take this seriously, while others take caution to the extreme. Employers must project leadership and confidence in holding employees responsible for taking prudent measures regarding COVID-19 concerns.
If you are sick, STAY AT HOME!
Cardinal has seen employees show up sick at several of our customers. Employees often feel that missing work will create a burden for their co-workers. Remind employees that if they are sick, they should inform their supervisor and remain at home. Caution staff that coming to work sick and possibly spreading COVID-19, even if no one else gets sick, at a minimum will create hours of work in dealing with the consequences.
If you do have someone who tests positive or reports that they have been in contact with a positive case, reach out to Cardinal’s HR Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance. Lastly, be sure to check out our article, “My Employee Tested Positive for CORONAVIRUS – Now What?” regarding what to do when an employee tests positive for COVID-19 in the workplace.