Communicating with Employees about COVID 19
It is important that employers stay on top of their employees’ workplace safety. We recommend disseminating information to your employees about the COVID 19 outbreak and staying on top of developments. Below is a sample communication, but, of course, you should make sure it accurately reflects your workplace and the steps you are taking. One of the biggest issues will be how to handle pay if extended absences become necessary. There is no one size fits all answer. It should be handled consistently within your company and will depend on your current policies, any government assistance that may become available and the extent to which your employees may be out of work.
Given the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S. in recent weeks, we ask that you please follow these simple guidelines in an effort to keep all employees healthy and safe. While vigilance is asked of all of you, we do not believe there is cause for panic. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [insert name].
- Wash your hands often – Use soap and water and wash for at least 30 seconds, or if soap and water are not available use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
- Do not touch your face.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces often.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it in the trash. If a tissue is not available, use your elbow (not your hands) and turn away from any people nearby. The CDC does not recommend wearing masks.
- Avoid shaking hands with people if possible, including clients, customers and guests – this is for your own protection and theirs.
- Health care providers are requesting that anyone with fever, cough, or shortness of breath contact the doctor or hospital in advance of going and follow any procedures they have in place.
- We are monitoring our workplace safety, and in order to do that it is important that you notify [Human Resources/person’s name] if you will be out of the office due to any illness. If you are feeling sick, stay home from work. Any specific medical information will be kept confidential.
- Immediately notify [Human Resources/person’s name] if you were exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you were exposed to someone who has been put in quarantine due to possible contact with someone with COVID-19.
Information is evolving daily and we encourage you to designate a point person to stay on top of the situation so that you can effectively respond to the needs of your workforce. For further questions contact Jennifer Douglas.
For a list of Coronavirus related resources, please see our Resources Page.