Employer’s guide to COVID-19 and your employees

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Navigating safety protocols, COVID tests and vaccines: An employer’s guide to COVID-19

 

  1. Quick overview of CDC, state and local guidance for employers
  2.  View employee AND employer resources for screening, testing and tracing
  3. For a more thorough discussion, download the employer’s guide to COVID-19.

As the pandemic continues and organizations adapt to this new way of life, employers are increasingly faced with the challenge of keeping their workforce safe. Employers must comply with state and local guidance on non-pharmaceutical measures to control COVID-19 (e.g., masks and social distancing). They must also develop and implement protocols to return their employees to the workplace safely. And what about vaccinations? That’s why we’re offering this employer’s guide to COVID-19.

In response, there’s been an explosion of innovative solutions ranging from digital symptom checker apps to virus/antibody testing services and contact tracing courses/services. As part of the larger organization of global broker Brown & Brown, we have access to information that’s important for you to review and implement right now. This eBook provides an overview of COVID-19 control strategies, resources, and the solution marketplace for screening, testing, and contact tracing.

Here’s a preview of what you can expect from this helpful employer’s guide to COVID-19:

 

Guidance for employers

 CDC Guidance

The CDC issues guidance, strategies, and recommendations for employers responding to COVID-19, including:

  • Conducting daily health checks
  • Conducting a hazard assessment of the workplace
  • Encouraging employees to wear cloth face coverings in the workplace, if appropriate
  • Implementing policies and practices for social distancing
  • Posting CDC signage (“Stop the Spread”)
  • Training personnel on new protocols
  • Improving building ventilation
  • Disinfecting the work environment

 

State & Local Guidance

The CDC offers guidance for screening & testing, but decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments or healthcare providers and employers.

For example, some states require daily screening of employees and essential visitors. This employer’s guide to COVID-19 reminds employers that guidance from public health authorities is likely to change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so consult their websites frequently.

Therefore, employers should continue to follow the most current information on maintaining workplace safety. Check your state and county websites for current requirements.

 

Resources for employees – screening, testing, and tracing

Symptom checker apps & screeners

  • Employees self-report symptoms daily via a digital app and receive a badge with “OK” to return to the workplace and/or guidance on care and follow-up
  • Employers receive reporting and analytics

CONSIDERATIONS

    • Accessed by employees each day before coming to worksite
    • Scalable for employers with multiple locations
    • Helps to track employee return-to-worksite status
    • Features and costs of apps/platforms vary widely

 

Temperature checks

  • Scans temperature without skin contact
  • Hand-held device or kiosk administered by employer staff or third-party service

 CONSIDERATIONS

    • Some infected may be asymptomatic and not have a temperature
    • Most require basic user training
    • Wide range of cost per device

 

Contact tracing

  • A process to identify, monitor, and support individuals who may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19
  • Follows case investigation (identification and investigation of individuals with confirmed and probable COVID-19 diagnoses)

 

 Resources for employers – screening, testing, and tracing

 PCR viral test

  • Tests for current viral infection
  • Nasal/oral swab performed at the test site or worksite by a third party

CONSIDERATIONS

    • Results processed at lab and can take 1-2 days or more
    • Cost ranges from $115 to $150 per test
    • High accuracy for sensitivity and specificity
    • Limitation: may test negative one day and positive the next

 

Rapid antigen testing

  • Tests for current viral infection
  • Nasal/oral swab performed at the test site or worksite by a third party

CONSIDERATIONS

    • Rapid results (approximately 15 minutes)
    • Relatively inexpensive
    • Generally less sensitivethan PCR tests
    • Limitation: may test negative one day and positive the next
    • Tests for the presence of virus antibodies
    • Serologic/blood test at a lab, test site, or worksite

 

Immunity/antibody testing

  • Tests for the presence of virus antibodies
  • Serologic/blood test at a lab, test site, or worksite

CONSIDERATIONS

    • Meaning of results unknown
    • Immunity level and duration of immunity are TBD
    • CDC does NOT recommend that employers use antibody tests to determine if an individual is immune or can work
    • Combines multiple swabs into one sample to test for current viral infection

 

COVID-19 screening apps

How It Works

  • Employees complete daily online survey app before returning to worksite
  • Receive digital “pass” to return to worksite or guidance (per CDC) to quarantine, test and/or seek care
  • Employers receive real-time employee return to work status and risk levels for their employee population

For many more tips and details, including a discussion on vaccines, view the employer’s guide to COVID-19, COVID-19: Screen, Test, Trace & Immunize (a guide for employers).