For essential businesses and organizations that continue or "reopen" during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wayne County Health Department recommends to:
- Screen all employees, for fever or other symptoms as they are entering facilities or buildings.
- Maintain 6 feet of distance between people. Create visual cues as needed.
- Emphasize frequent and proper hand washing. Make sure sinks are well supplied with hand soap.
- Support employees to work remotely whenever possible.
- Require all employees and customers wear a face covering/mask.
- Do not share space or equipment. If this is not possible, have employees wash their hands before and after using shared equipment. Clean and sanitize equipment between uses.
- Require any employee with cold symptoms or underlying health conditions to stay home or work remotely.
What do I do when my employee shows up to work ill?
If an employee comes to work ill, or becomes ill while at work, they should be directed to go home immediately- even if their symptoms are mild. Direct them to contact their medical provider or call a testing site to get tested, if possible.
If an employee is having trouble breathing or cannot keep fluids down, have them contact their doctor right away.
COVID-19 symptoms are very similar to the symptoms seen in a typical cold or flu. However, it is best to be cautious.
Take care not to over-react in order to prevent panic among your team. Consider alternative work options like remote working if your employee is well enough to do so.
What should I do if visitors or customers have symptoms of illness, such as coughing or sneezing?
You and your employees should follow social distancing guidance and maintain at least a 6-foot distance from anyone. The use of barriers such as plexiglass or shields should be utilized to protect your employees when providing face to face interactions.
If your employee must be close to the customer, advise them to minimize time spent with symptomatic customers to less than 10 minutes, if possible.
If your employee must be close to customers, they must wear a facemask. The use of gloves is also recommended when exchange of items occurs.
Be sure to provide the public with tissues and trash receptacles.
Have no-touch hand sanitizer dispensers near customer entrances, if possible.
One of our employees just tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
Instruct the employee to stay home and self-isolate. They should not return to work until directed to do so by a medical professional.
Offer remote work assignments if the employee is well enough to work.
You should contact the local health department to ensure they know the person is positive or a probable positive. There can be delays in reporting to local health departments and they will work with you to identify who else in your business might be at risk.
IMPORTANT: You must protect the confidentiality of your employee. Legally, you cannot identify the employee by name. DO NOT disclose to other staff or third persons the name or other personal or health information of the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 except to the local health department under Michigan Public Health Code Act 368 of 1978.
This is also addressed in section 164.512(b) of the HIPAA regulations. The relevant sections of the Michigan Public Health Code and Administrative Rules are:
Sec. 333.5111 (1) b - Requirements for reporting communicable and serious communicable diseases
- R 325.173 - Administrative rules detailing the reporting of communicable and serious communicable
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and other elements that are in the work environment of the employee who has tested positive. This includes cleaning and disinfecting all frequently touched surfaces and objects such as doorknobs/push bars, elevator buttons, restroom doors, copy machines, etc. Use EPA approved disinfectants and use according to label instructions.
- If the employee had been working while ill, identify co-workers and/or individuals that the employee may have had close contact with and advise them to contact the health department for further instruction. The Employer should contact the health department and provide a list of employees who work closely with the employee who tested positive, along with their contact information. A close contact is defined as those individuals who had been within 6 feet of the affected employee for greater than 20 minutes while the employee had symptoms. The local health department will then take over the process of contact tracing.
One of our employee's family members has a "suspected" (but unconfirmed) case of COVID-19. What should we do?
If an employee is worried about a suspected case of COVID in a family member, encourage them to have their family member followâ€up with a physician or testing site for COVID testing. As an employer, you are encouraged to call the health department to report suspect cases and to receive further guidance on actions that need to be take.
One of our employees has a "suspected" (but unconfirmed) case of COVID-19. Should I send everyone home?
No, do not send everyone home. The employee should be encouraged to follow-up with their physician and to go to a testing site for testing. Employees in close contact should be encouraged to monitor their symptoms. Employers can call the health department to report suspect cases and for further guidance.
One of my employees has self-reported that they came into contact with someone believed to be positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
Review the nature of the exposure. If the contact occurred within 6 feet of the ill individual for more than 20 minutes, then the employee should contact their local health department to review their level of risk. This may result in the need to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of the contact if the person they came in contact with does test positive for COVID-19. Call the health department if you want additional guidance.
One of our employees just found out that they were exposed to COVID-19 after interacting with a member of the public (or vendor, or contractor). What steps do I take?
Review the nature of the exposure. If the contact occurred within 6 feet of the ill individual for more than 20 minutes, then the employee should contact the local health department of the County where they live, for further instruction. It may be advised, based upon risk level, that they self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of the contact. Offer remote work, if feasible. Check to see if other employees may also have had similar exposure to the ill individual. If so, they should also contact the local health department to review risk level and determine if self-quarantine at home for 14 days is required.
When can my employee come back to work if they have been ill or had an exposure?
The person will be advised when it is safe to return by their medical provider. Best practice is to require a return to work letter from a medical provider. Depending on specific human resource policies if a return to work letter or proof of a negative test result is required before an employee can return to work after they have been ill or had an exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19.
Employees who have been close contacts to a suspect or known case of COVID-19 should self-quarantine at home for 14 days if advised by their local health department or medical provider. If they develop symptoms while in quarantine, they should contact their primary care physician or local COVID screening site to be scheduled for testing.
For the most up-to-date guidance for COVID-19, including detailed instructions on self-isolation and self-quarantine, visit the following sources of official information:
- Information Center (734) 287-7870
- Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (888) 535-6163
- (CDC) Centers for Disease Control (800) 232-4632