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Memo From FUELIowa Chairman: Covid-19 Employer Response Procedures

 

Dear FUELIowa Members:
Iowa officials estimate that the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic remains weeks away.  As the virus continues to spread, businesses deemed essential and their employees will remain at risk for exposure.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention is the leading authority on Covid-19 response measures.1 This memo serves to summarize the recommended steps to be taken by an employer if a case of Covid-19 is confirmed in their place of business.

KEY THINGS EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW
If an employee is confirmed to have a Covid-19 infection, the employer should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).2 Use an abundance of caution not to inform employees of the person infected.

Refer employees that may have been at risk for exposure to the CDC Public Health Recommendations For Community Related Exposure.  Employees that believe they may be experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus should contact a health professional.

CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting a facility is available here.  The National Association for Convenience Stores (NACS) has a list of national cleaning companies on their coronavirus resource page.  It is FUELIowa’s recommendation that a professional cleaning service be employed in response to a confirmed case of Covid-19 in a store employee.

With Iowa’s anticipated peak in Covid-19 cases weeks away, essential businesses like those owned by FUELIowa members should be prepared to respond swiftly to a confirmed case of Covid-19 at their business.  If a confirmed case is identified in an employee, follow the procedures outlined above.  If a potential exposure of Covid-19 is brought to your attention by a patron or an employee, the CDC has prepared interim guidance for critical infrastructure workers that may have been exposed to a person with suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19.
 
According to CDC guidance, to ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.

RECOMMENDATION(S)
Remain proactive to the threat of a Covid-19 exposure at your business.  Implement regularly scheduled cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Periodic cleanings performed by a professional cleaning service is recommended by FUELIowa.

Maintain regular communication with employees. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued the following Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace document to help businesses navigate the ADA requirements. 3 The document was updated March 21, 2020 and allows employers to ask employees who report feeling ill at work, or who call in sick, questions about their symptoms to determine if they have or may have COVID-19.  

 

 cdc.gov
 ada.gov
 eeoc.gov







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