CDC Updated COVID Guidelines for Offices, Employers, and Employees
With COVID cases on the rise again, the CDC has updated its workplace guidelines for employers and employees. The CDC has also updated its website with more guidelines to be followed in any setting, including an office setting. While many people are still working from home, some offices have reopened and are encouraged by the CDC and government to follow the CDC guidelines.
The purpose of this article today is strictly to inform you of the CDC guidelines. All the information below comes directly from the CDC.
General Office Procedures
- Practice social distancing – remain at least 6 feet apart from others
- Wear a mask when you are away from your desk or in common areas
- Only use office supplies in your own office / at your own desk
- Wipe down surfaces used by multiple people, such as a copier, after each use
- Let the phone ring if it is not your own
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitizer
- The last person to leave the office should spray Lysol in communal areas / on countertops
- Have disposable masks available for people not wearing a mask
- If guests/clients must come to the office, provide them with a mask if they do not already have one, as well as hand sanitizer, upon arrival.
The CDC recommends quarantining if:
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes
- You provided care to someone at home who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with someone with COVID-19
- You share eating or drinking utensils with someone with COVID-19
- Someone with COVID-19 sneezed, coughed, or otherwise passed respiratory droplets on you.
The CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine but says that your local health authorities make the final decision about how long your quarantine should last. Many public health authorities have reduced their quarantine length to 10 days.
Employer Roles for Responding to COVID-19
It is understandable that many employers want to get back into the office. Going back to work depends on the state or area where you are located. If you are in an area where you are allowed to open your office to employees, make sure that you have a COVID-19 response plan that is specific to your workplace. Other things you can do as an employer include:
- Encourage sick employees to stay home
- Educate employees on steps they can take to protect themselves at work and home
- Maintain a healthy work environment
- Make sure “house rules” are being followed
Employee Roles for Responding to COVID-19
When returning to work, employees have a responsibility to everyone that they work with to not bring the virus to work. With this being said, it is impossible to monitor what every employee is doing while not at work. In order to protect yourself and others around you, the CDC suggests that you monitor your health and stay home when sick. They also recommend that you follow the general office procedures listed above and any other office rules that your employer puts into place.
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