As social activities and travel pick back up this summer, businesses and employees are becoming increasingly lax regarding established COVID-19 protocols. But with only 67% of the population receiving at least one dose of vaccine, are we taking two steps forward and three steps backward? An increase in COVID rates could be on the horizon.
While we all can enjoy getting back to “normal,” we would be remiss to forget the valuable lessons learned last year. With new variants and upcoming cooler temperatures, an increase in cases is not out of the question. While you may choose to temporarily modify certain guidelines such as mask requirements, keeping up with your established COVID-19 protocols will prevent additional costs or downtime in the future.
An important protocol to keep up with is COVID-19 symptom screening and reporting. Continue requiring sick employees to stay home and follow the guidelines below to maintain a COVID-conscious work environment:
- Employees should self-screen for symptoms.
- Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested.
- Employees with COVID-19 should follow CDC-recommended isolation guidelines.
- All close contacts of the employee with COVID-19 should also be tested and monitored for symptoms.
- Ask employees to report any household members sick with COVID-19 and to follow CDC-recommended precautions.
The CDC encourages employers to continue offering flexibility in the workplace so employees are not penalized for making the right decision when it comes to self-reporting and staying at home. We also recommend reviewing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance on maintaining confidentiality and preventing stigmas and discrimination.
Read more about EPSL and EFLMA and how the consolidated Appropriations Act applies to employees requiring extended leave in 2021 here.