COVID-19 Guidance for Employers
We here at ADH want to keep you informed regarding the novel coronavirus. Specifically, we want to inform you about considerations for your employees.
Employees Being Monitored Due to Possible Exposure or Infection
If any of your employees are being monitored due to possible exposure to COVID-19, they will be placed under home self-quarantine by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, they will be placed under self-isolation. ADH does not recommend retesting of positive employees before release from isolation or return to work.ADH will no longer issue documentation stating when an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 may return to work or other obligations. Employers are to use this guidance on isolation in determining their own return to work policy.
During the quarantine or isolation period, the person is expected to stay home and not leave for any reason except to seek any needed medical care.
If the employee does not develop symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the end of the self-quarantine period, they will be free to resume normal activities, including school or work. A positive employee should follow the guidelines for isolation.
Please call the ADH at 1-800-803-7847 if you have any questions.
Contact tracing focuses on close contacts while a positive patient was infectious. The infectious period begins 48 hours before the patient’s symptoms began. If the person with COVID-19 never developed symptoms, the infectious period begins the 48 hours before the positive test was collected. A person is considered a close contact if they have been within 6 feet of the patient for at least 15 minutes. If a person is thought to be a close contact, then a contact tracer will give them a call. If the exposure wasn’t within 6 feet, if it didn’t last 15 minutes or more, or if it occurred before the infectious period, that person would not be considered a close contact and will not receive a phone call from a contact tracer.
Recommended strategies for employers to use now, for any infectious disease:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
- Separate sick employees
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
See CDC’s full Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19 by clicking here.
Global case numbers are reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report. For U.S. information, visit CDC’s COVID-19 in the U.S. This following location list is found here.