Additional flexibilities might include giving advances on future sick leave and allowing employees to donate sick leave to each other. Ask employees to follow the CDC guidance on how to protect yourself when using transportation. Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
Although CDC continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine, options are provided for shorter quarantine that may end after day 7 or after day 10 based on certain conditions. Alternatives to the 14-day quarantine are described in the Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing. Shortening quarantine may increase willingness to adhere to public health recommendations. However , shortened quarantine may be less effective in preventing transmission of COVID-19 than the currently recommended 14-day quarantine.
Encourage employees to follow any new policies or procedures related to illness, cleaning and disinfecting, and work meetings and travel. Implementation of testing strategies can supplement measures to reduce transmission in the workplace. Repeated testing over time, also referred to as serial testing, may be more likely to detect infection among workers with exposures than testing done at a single point in time. Workplaces could consider these quarantine alternatives as measures to mitigate staffing shortages, but they are not the preferred options to mitigate staffing shortages. Workplaces should understand that shortening the duration of quarantine might pose additional transmission risk.
Cross-train employees to perform essential functions so the workplace can operate even if key employees are absent. Consider using a hotline or another method for employees to voice concerns anonymously. Create and test communication systems that employees can use to self-report if they are sick and that you can use to notify employees of exposures and closures. This will eliminate the need for employees living in higher transmission areas to travel to workplaces in lower transmission areas and vice versa. Employers that do not currently offer sick leave to some or all of their employees should consider drafting non-punitive “emergency sick leave” policies. Employers with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for 100% tax creditsexternal icon for Families First Coronavirus Response Act COVID-19 paid leave provided through March 31, 2021, up to certain limits. Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member or take care of children due to school and childcare closures.
Direct employees to visit CDC’s coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information. Encourage employees to use other noncontact methods of greeting. Inspect and maintain local exhaust ventilation in areas such as kitchens, cooking areas, etc. Operate these systems any time these spaces are occupied.
Consider operating these systems, even when the specific space is not occupied, to increase overall ventilation within the occupied building. Check filters to ensure they are within their service life and appropriately installed. Close or limit access to common areas where employees are likely to congregate and interact. Increase physical space between employees at the worksite by modifying the workspace.