As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the unfortunate reality is that many workers will contract the virus at some point. Thankfully, the far majority of people will fully recover from COVID and be able to get back to their lives—and get back to work.
However, as a serious and very contagious illness, it’s critical that those who were isolated due to the coronavirus take the responsibility of safely coming back to work seriously. Based on guidelines from the CDC and other reputable sources, here is how to do that properly.
Moving Out of Isolation
As of late July, the CDC has released new recommendations to follow when deciding when it’s safe to come out of isolation or quarantine following a COVID diagnosis. They no longer suggest relying on tests alone for most patients. Instead, experts prefer using these criteria for people who experienced mild to moderate symptoms:
- Ten days or more have passed since symptoms began
- Have no fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication
- Improvement of other COVID symptoms
For those with severe COVID-19 symptoms or who are immunocompromised, the CDC recommends staying in isolation for at least 20 days. Those in this category should also talk to their doctor about verifying their negative COVID status with a test before leaving isolation.Also, if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic (you show no symptoms), you can leave isolation ten days after the initial positive test. Studies show that asymptomatic COVID patients aren’t contagious after this much time has passed.
Once you’ve met all of these requirements, it should be safe for you to leave isolation and go back to the office. Still, that doesn’t mean you can go back to your work-life as usual.
Going Back into The Office After COVID
After you’ve been cleared to go back to work after a COVID diagnosis, you should continue following all CDC-recommended workplace health and safety guidelines. This will help to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Every city, state, and workplace may have its own unique procedures and protocols. Before returning, verify how they’ll specifically apply to your situation.
Here are the most common and effective practices which should be followed at any business:
- Check Your Temperature
Before going into the workplace, verify that you have normal temperature reading.
- Stay Socially Distanced
The CDC recommends that people stay at least six feet apart from others at all times.
- Wear a Face Mask
As COVID is usually transmitted person-to-person via respiratory droplets, masks can greatly reduce transmission rates. Always wear masks while indoors, as well as outdoors when you’re within six feet of others.
- Wash Your Hands
Regular and thorough handwashing has proven to be an incredibly effective way of reducing coronavirus transmission. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Sanitize Often
Keep various sanitizing sprays, wipes, gels, bottles, etc. with 60% or more alcohol content on-hand. Use them to keep desks, seats, hands, and other commonly touched items as clean as possible.
- Stay Home If Sick
If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, don’t go into work. If you notice symptoms while on the job, go home immediately. This virus still carries many unknowns. Although reoccurrences are rare, they likely can happen. If you have any potential symptoms, please remain isolated until it’s again deemed safe.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These are the most up-to-date guidelines as of the post date. However, experts are learning more about COVID-19 and its effects every day so be sure to regularly check the CDC website for any updates.
COVID-19 Workplace Support and Resources
We understand how complicated and challenging this time is for employees and business owners alike. That’s why CarivaCare℠ has developed a COVID-19 Support Program to help businesses maneuver through this confusing time, while offering peace-of-mind.
Whether you have a confirmed or possible workplace exposure, you’d like guidance on testing, additional nurse triage support, etc., our friendly triage nurses and medical professionals are ready to help. Our team is here to put you and your employees’ minds at ease during this unprecedented time.
To learn more, contact us at 1-800-274-1102 or reach out to us online. We’ll discuss how our services can support your business and save you money. Let’s chat soon!