Implementing Safety Practices for COVID-19
To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.
Potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes 48 hours before the individual becomes symptomatic.
Critical Infrastructure workers who have had exposure but remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices before and during their work shifts:
- Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms before they start work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
- Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a fever or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
- Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after the last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
- Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
- Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared electronic equipment routinely.
If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately. Surfaces in their workspace should be cleaned and disinfected. Information on persons who had contact with the ill employee during the time the employee had symptoms and 2 days before symptoms should be compiled. Others at the facility with close contact within 6 feet of the employee during this time would be considered exposed.
Employers should implement the recommendations in the Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19in the workplace. Additional information about identifying critical infrastructure during COVID-19 can be found on the DHS CISA website external icon or the CDC’s specific First Responder Guidance page.