Are your commercial clients bringing employees back to the workplace? Offer employer contact tracing
- What is employer contact tracing? It’s identifying workers who’ve been infected with COVID-19 and finding/contacting all those in the workplace they’ve been in contact with.
- Learn how contact tracing functions to help both infected employees and possibly infected employees.
- See how contact tracing helps employers manage staffing and other needs.
Many articles have been written on return-to-work safety, but most focus on how to keep the worksite sanitized. One of our sister companies, AmeriSys, is offering employer contact tracing for the workplace, to protect returning employees’ health and protect your commercial client’s business continuity and workers’ compensation claim exposure.
What is employer contact tracing?
It’s the process of identifying who’s recently been within 6 feet of an infected person in the workplace for 15+ minutes. By assessing the needs and resources of both the infected person and the potentially infected coworkers, this disease-control measure helps fight the spread of COVID-19.
Here’s how employer contact tracing works:
Once an employer implements the program and an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, an AmeriSys nurse will assess the infected worker’s healthcare needs and educate the employee on the disease process, signs and symptoms that require an emergency response, plus CDC guidelines including quarantine recommendations. The AmeriSys nurse will also assess the employee’s ability to adequately quarantine by determining the support systems and resources available. The infected employee’s identity remains confidential to protect employee privacy.
Then employer contact tracing begins. The contact tracer then communicates with workplace individuals who’ve had viable contact as defined by the CDC. These contacted individuals will also be assessed for any current viral symptoms, given testing resource information and educated on the current CDC guidelines including quarantine recommendations. Resources and support systems of those potentially exposed will also be assessed as to the individual’s ability to quarantine.
AmeriSys will notify the employer of the employees being contacted and advised to adhere to CDC guidelines. This will provide the organization with insight into the level of exposure it is sustaining as a whole and within individual divisions. This also highlights for the employer any staffing replacements that may need to occur, specific areas that need to be deep-cleaned, work areas that may need a temporary shut-down, staggered work schedules that need to be introduced and more.
With more and more employees returning to the workplace, contact tracing is crucial to not only stop the spread of the coronavirus, but also to protect your clients from potential lawsuits.
Related: Returning to work after COVID-19
“AmeriSys has a team of specially trained nurses nationwide, experienced in handling workers’ compensation claims and working closely with the infected employee to determine best outcomes,” explained Ron Warble, senior executive vice president at AmeriSys. “They are trained to handle COVID-19 cases, establishing rapport and trust with infected individuals, so that they can identify potentially infected workers and counsel them with empathy, after assessing their needs.
“Our program quickly advises you as to levels of infection and where within the company they’re located, so that you’re able to make informed but rapid decisions as to whether work areas should be shut down, require extra cleaning, require employees to work a staggered schedule, call in temporary workers and more,” he added.
“It’s our goal to provide the most up-to-date healthcare guidance to you, your employees and contacts, while helping you limit the viral spread and protect your employees – and your company.”
This article was originally published on ACM’s blog. It has been modified to better fit the needs of Arrowhead’s producers and their clients.