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COVID-19

Recommended strategies for employers to use based on CDC and

NC DHHS best practices

 Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.

    • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
    • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
    • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
    • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.


Separate sick employees.

  • CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95%
    alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are
    maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning.
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and
    doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
  • It is important to use products according to package instructions for proper disinfection. EPA has released a list of registered antimicrobial products for use against COVID-19

Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19.

  • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their
    supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC
    guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.