With the global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) comes a proliferation of anxieties about how to avoid getting sick. In the U.S., the growing concerns have been met with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As hospitals and clinics continue to see increases in cases of the respiratory illness, individuals who come down with symptoms are being quarantined. Even suspected exposures have led to self-quarantines in many cases.
Governments and institutions in hard-hit areas are cancelling events that draw large crowds and attempting to limit public gatherings where possible. Many people reasonably hesitant to attend such gatherings may still be concerned about non-optional congregations of people, namely work. Many wonder how they can feel safe from the spread of these germs when they are forced into mandatory proximity to potentially infected co-workers in possibly germ-laden facilities. What can workers do to protect themselves from infection?
The CDC has made several suggestions for measures that employers should put in place to mitigate the risk for workers. The following are recommendations employers should consider:
· Make it known that employees who come down with symptoms should stay home
· Revisit company policies that may require a doctor’s note for such absences
· Adjust sick leave policies to align with the seriousness of the public health situation
· Assess the possibility of remote work
· Allow employees flexibility to stay home with sick family members
· Educate employees on the policies as they relate to the current health concerns
· Reinforce the importance of proper hand washing and cough/sneeze protocols
· Keep up with disinfecting surfaces frequently encountered by staff
Whether in the workplace or not, people should follow steps to ward off the highly transmissible illness. For people who are not experiencing symptoms, the CDC recommends the following specific measures to avoid becoming infected:
· Maintain good hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer to kill germs
· Cough considerately: Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue, immediately dispose of the tissue, and follow up by washing hands
· Use strong sanitizer: In the absence of soap and water, use of sanitizer is a viable back-up, but it should contain at least 60 percent alcohol
· If sick, stay home: If symptoms appear, do not return to work until at least 24 hours after your fever has subsided;
· Keep your distance: If you encounter anyone showing symptoms, remain at least six feet away from them
· Hands off your face: Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
· Do not share utensils: Avoid sharing drinks or eating utensils;
· Disinfect surfaces: Clean high-frequency surfaces often, including work surfaces, keyboards, phones, and doorknobs.
If your work environment has made you sick, you may be eligible for benefits. The Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Gross & Kenny, LLP will fight to recover compensation to pay for your medical bills or other costs associated with your illness. Contact us online or call 267-589-0090 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we provide legal services throughout Pennsylvania.
At Gross & Kenny, LLP we view the safety and well-being of our clients, staff and business partners as our highest priority.
The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus is continually changing, and we are following all recommended guidelines to stay healthy.
Currently, our law firm is remaining open to serve your legal needs. If you were working light duty or modified duty as a result of a work injury in Pennsylvania and were recently laid off or terminated from your job due to the Coronavirus you may be entitled to weekly workers' compensation checks for lost wages moving forward. Contact us to find out . We are open and ready to assist.
We are happy to arrange for phone or video consultations should you have any concerns about keeping your scheduled appointments with us. We are also able to exchange documents via secure drives or email.
Should you have any concerns regarding an upcoming meeting with us, please contact us online or call (215) 512-1500.
We are continuing to fight on behalf of our clients and that we are all able to handle things even if mandated by the government that we work remotely.
Thank you and take care.