Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) recently sent a letter out to local businesses concerning how to properly identify possible COVID-19 cases, and what can be done if someone in a business is confirmed with COVID-19.
Deputy health commissioner Leigh Cannon wrote in the letter that FCPH is excited to work with businesses as they navigate through the “Responsible Restart Ohio process.”
“Confirmed and probable cases are reported to the Local Health District in which that case resides,” Cannon wrote. “With many out of county employees working in Fayette County, FCPH often may not know if there are confirmed cases within the workplace if that employee lives outside of Fayette County. If you know of a confirmed case within your establishment, you need to contact FCPH so we can work with you to quickly identify potentially infected or exposed individuals to help facilitate effective contact tracing/notifications.”
Close contacts are defined as those who have spent a significant amount of time within six feet of the confirmed case. Every employee who works with the case or in the same facility as the case may not necessarily be considered a close contact at increased risk of COVID-19.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), critical infrastructure workers (including workers within the food and agriculture sector) may continue working following exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain symptom free and additional precautions are taken.
Additional precautions include:
· Pre-Screening: Employers should check employee temperatures and assess symptoms prior to the start of work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
· Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
· Wearing a Mask: Employees must wear a face covering, unless contraindicated, at all times while in the workplace.
· Social Distancing: Employees should maintain six feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
· Disinfecting and Cleaning Workspaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.
Advice that can be shared with employees, according to Cannon:
All Ohioans are encouraged to watch themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 infection like fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. If you develop any of these symptoms, you will be instructed to self-isolate at home and notify your employer. If you develop symptoms while at home, do not go to work. If you become sick while at work, isolate yourself and notify your employer immediately.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.