Updated May 15, 2020
Alabama is under an amended Safe at Home Order until May 22. View the current information on adph.gov.
As you reopen your workplace, we encourage you to do it safely. Several resources are available that address workplace-specific situations and best practices for keeping employees and customers safe. Here is the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.
Can I have all my employees tested?
Some companies have asked if all employees can be tested before operations resume. Local hospital officials say that is NOT feasible, because testing for COVID-19 is still limited. The Centers for Disease Control recommends testing only for people showing symptoms. Routine testing is not recommended for employees unless they work in a healthcare or nursing/long-term care facility.
Rapid testing is available for symptomatic or exposed employees through an arrangement with Huntsville company Diatherix. If your company is interested in using Diatherix, a single point of contact should call or email Kim Seaton (256-929-0226, or email@example.com) to find out if they have the capacity and to have your employees’ physicians added to the Diatherix network. The physicians can then direct test results to Diatherix.
Should my employees wear masks?
Recent updates to CDC guidelines include wearing face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. If you are having trouble ordering a supply of masks, here are CDC instructions on how to make sewn cloth face coverings. Additionally, we’ve put together these DIY links for you. Medical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.
Should my company check employees’ temperatures?
The CDC has issued this information for implementing safety practices for critical infrastructure workers who may have had exposure to a person with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. We are working to get additional clarification on what is recommended on temperature checks for other employees (the general workplace). One suggestion is to ask your employees to check their temperatures at home before coming in, and then contact you if it is high. If it’s possible to have that employee telework for the day, that could be a good alternative.
The CDC has published a wealth of information on cdc.gov to help in your planning. These include:
Please take some time to read information on the CDC’s website and find information suitable for your type of workplace, as you make plans for reopening.
Alabama Technology Network
In addition, the Alabama Technology Network has also developed a “Return to Work” plan to assist small businesses and industry in bringing employees safely back to work. They will also develop custom plans for you. Email the ATN at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your plan.
The National Association of Homebuilders has issued job site safety guidance for the construction industry. Their site includes printable safety posters in English and in Spanish.
And finally, if your workforce has been exposed to someone who has tested positive or is suspected to have COVID-19, CDC has safety practices that were developed for essential workers that should be followed.
Please monitor our COVID-19 resource page on hsvchamber.org for updates, and please make sure you’re signed up to receive our newsletters. We are sending frequent updates and will share developments with you as we learn them.
-Originally published April 23, 2020