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Guidelines for employers: staff with confirmed COVID19 cases

STAFF EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT – HR & OHS

Should you have a confirmed case of a staff member:

Please contact BC-CDC at the following number:  Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available 7:30 am-8 pm at 1-888-COVID19.

Please call 811 directly to get information on what to do if you have an employee confirmed positive for COVID 19.

GUIDELINES:

Ultimately the employer has the duty to prevent the risk of exposure and spread of the virus. The confirmed employee must seek medical attention and go to self-quarantine for the recommended time by the physician. 

As for the employer, they must take the steps immediately to identify the extent of the potential exposure and ensure a proper cleaning protocol is implemented to clean the potentially contaminated area(s). 

Further to this, any employees of the company that think might have come in contact with the infected employee or in the area that the infected employee was working, the employee(s) should be tested and be asked to go in self-quarantine until the test results return a positive/negative result. If it is a negative result, the employee must have a doctor's approval to return to work (the doctor may request a 14-day self-quarantine) regardless of results. If the employee tests positive, the infected employee must seek medical treatment immediately and be in quarantine till approved by the doctor that the employee is safe to return to work.

Additionally, clear, supportive communication to all employees is very important to address any concerns or fears that this might cause in the company or facilities. 

some recommendations that the employer can do. I strongly recommend to confirm with BC CDC as they are the experts in infection transmission prevention protocols. If the 888 line did not provide enough information please try with the 811.

  1. Isolate the worker as per the guidelines established by BC CDC.

Information from BC CDC

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This can help prevent the spread of infections. Self-isolation lowers the chance of spreading the illness to other people. When you are exposed to an illness, there is the time between exposure and when you start to feel sick. This is called an incubation period. There is a small chance you can spread germs in the days before you feel sick. People at high-risk of having been exposed to the illness are asked to self-isolate.

Plan ahead and prepare for what you will do if you or a family member becomes sick and needs care.

For more information about self-isolation, go to our Testing and Isolation page.

Information from WorkSafeBC

If you have COVID-19

The BC CDC advises that if you are sick with COVID-19, you need to stay home. Contact your local health care provider to get advice, or call HealthLinkBC at 811 to speak to a nurse. The BC CDC also provides guidance on self-isolation

  1. Clean the facility following infection control protocol, please confirm with BC CDC the correct procedure for this process.

The BC CDC Website FAQ that provides the closest guidance.

Information from BC CDC

I have COVID-19, how do I clean and disinfect my home?

Clean and disinfect common areas once a day. Each day, clean places and surfaces in the room(s) that you are staying in. Regular cleaning products are fine for this. Then disinfect (kill germs) by mixing 1 part bleach with 9 parts water and applying it to areas that are touched often such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. It is especially important to use bleach to disinfect if you are sharing any common areas (such as a bathroom) with others or if others will be entering the room(s) where you are staying.

  1. Identify staff that has been in close contact with the person and monitor for symptoms.

Information from WorkSafeBC

If you have been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19

If you have had close contact with an infected person you are at high risk of exposure. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that in these circumstances, you voluntarily home quarantine (self-isolation), with mandatory quarantine depending on circumstances, and practice hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, cleaning, and self-monitoring.

Information from BC CDC

Self-monitoring

Self-monitoring means looking for new symptoms or signs of coronavirus infection such as fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, etc.

•Take and record temperature daily and avoid the use of fever reducing medications (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen) as much possible.

•These medications could mask an early symptom of COVID-19; if these medications must be taken, client should advise their healthcare provider.

If you develop symptoms, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.  You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.

  1. Enact enhanced prevention practices

Taken from the BC CDC Website for essential businesses.

Measures organizations can take

•Cleaning: Consider increasing routine cleaning practices – if you are cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces once a day, move to twice a day using the products you already use.

•Space: Consider the density of your business and provide additional space for customers and employees to interact; for example, consider how line ups or seating could be expanded so that people are able to put some distance – 1 to 2 metres – between one another.

•Hand hygiene: Ensure your washrooms remain stocked with soap and consider offering hand sanitizer at entrances.

•Communication: Show your customers, clients, members, and employees what you are doing to support the efforts to slow transmission of this virus by communicating online and at your place of business.

•Employees who feel unwell: Support your employees to stay home if they are sick.

Click to download the latest guidance document from BC CDC, this includes guidance for essential services employers.

  1. Call 811 and follow their instructions – we acknowledge that wait times could be longer than normal but we recommend to keep trying. Please also consider using Non-medical information COVID-19  line available from  7:30am-8pm at 1-888-COVID19

Industry-related CV19 news is here on our website. https://www.bcfpa.ca/news/types/251

Here is a LINK to an OHS Canada webinar, and below are specific links of other companies' best practices.  PPE!

https://www.bcfpa.ca/news/2020/03/16/what-workers-and-employers-need-know-about-covid-19-worksafe-bc

https://www.bcfpa.ca/news/2020/03/16/maple-leaf-foods-statement-operational-status-during-covid-19-pandemic

https://www.bcfpa.ca/news/2020/03/16/best-practices-memo-fine-choice-foods-employees

 

These would be the criteria I would initiate at a minimum during these uncertain times. Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns. 

Tanya Tait

Tanya@bcfb.ca