Businesses and employers can play a key role in preventing and slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within the workplace. Employers’ COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plans should take into account workplace factors such as feasibility of social distancing in the workplace, ability to stagger employee shifts, degree to which employees interact with the public in person, feasibility of accomplishing work by telework, geographical isolation of the workplace, whether employees live in congregate housingexternal icon, proportion of employees at increased risk for severe illness, policies regarding sick leave for staff, and priority for continuity of operations. Employers should also consider the level of COVID-19 disease transmission in their communities.
Businesses and employers are encouraged to coordinate with state and localexternal icon health officials to obtain timely and accurate information to inform appropriate responses. Local conditions will influence the decisions that public health officials make regarding community-level strategies.
As an employer, if your business operations were interrupted, resuming normal or phased activities presents an opportunity to update your COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plans. All employers should implement and update as necessary a plan that:
- Is specific to your workplace,
- Identifies all areas and job tasks with potential exposures to SARS-CoV-2, and
- Includes control measures to eliminate or reduce such exposures.
Talk with your employees about planned changes and seek their input. Additionally, collaborate with employees and unions to effectively communicate important COVID-19 information.
See the OSHA Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplaceexternal icon for more information on how to protect workers from potential exposures, according to their exposure risk. Plans should consider that employees may be able to spread COVID-19 even if they do not show symptoms.
All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and lower the impact in your workplace. This should include activities to:
- prevent and reduce transmission among employees,
- maintain healthy business operations, and
- maintain a healthy work environment.
Prevent and Reduce Transmission Among Employees
Monitor federal, state, and local public health communications about COVID-19 regulations, guidance, and recommendations and ensure that workers have access to that information. Frequently check the CDC COVID-19 website.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home