COVID-19 and the Workplace: Questions and AnswersCoronavirus (COVID-19)
Keeping you safe is Lee Health’s top priority. So as Southwest Florida residents continue to adapt to living life amid COVID-19, we want to make sure employees heading back to work have the information they need to feel comfortable.
Here’s what you need to know:
Question: What are the best ways to stay safe at work?
Answer: Wear a mask at all times except when you eat or drink. Our infection prevention experts also recommend frequent hand washing (for at least 20 seconds, using warm water), and taking the time to sanitize your workspace as often as possible. Remember, one of the most common areas for COVID-19 transmission is during breaks where employees congregate to eat without masks on. Try to avoid group lunches as well as meetings and other closed spaces with other employees.
Question: How can businesses encourage their employees to wear masks?
Answer: Employers should use plenty of clear safety signage and other reminders through email or at staff meetings. They should also lead by example: When the manager/employer wears a mask, employees are encouraged to wear a mask as well.
Question: Does Lee Health offer testing to employers?
Answer: COVID-19 testing is available through Lee Health Occupational Medicine for businesses that would like to get their employees tested. The actual test takes about 7 minutes and is completed at our mobile testing site at Page Field, 4771 S Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. A consult takes place beforehand through our Telemedicine service to determine if a COVID-19 test is indicated and individuals can check the results through our convenient MyChart app. For more information, on timing on results, billing, and scheduling contact Lee Health Occupational Medicine at 239-343-9841.
Question: If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, what are the guidelines an employer should take? Does my employee need to test negative before returning to work?
Answer: The CDC recently revised its guidance and now encourage a “symptom-based strategy.” This means symptomatic people discontinue isolation and return to work if all three of the following conditions have been met:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
- All COVID-related symptoms (such as cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
The CDC is learning more about COVID-19 every day, so employers are encouraged to regularly check the latest recommendations and plan accordingly.