Someone in the Office Got COVID.. Now What?

While businesses all over the country are re-opening their doors, the threat of COVID-19 is still very real. After closing for such a prolonged period of time, many business owners are trying to figure out how to handle the return to work as safely as possible. Even with daily cleaning and ongoing disinfecting, employees leave the office and live their own lives. It’s impossible to control what they’re doing outside of 9:00 – 5:00. The risk of transmission in public places during non-office hours makes interactions in the office filled with uncertainty. Luckily, there are ways to increase the safety of your workplace environment. To make sure that your office is as healthy as possible for your employees and clients, we recommend opting for ongoing disinfectant services, Rapid Testing, and High-Touch Point day porter services. By utilizing a combination of these three services from Bee Line, you’ll drastically reduce the risk of inner-office transmission. However, you should still prepare for the worst by making a plan for what to do if someone in the office gets COVID.

Before doing anything else, make it very clear that your employees need to communicate about their exposure, symptoms, and testing results. Testing positive for COVID-19 can carry a certain stigma and is often associated with guilt or even embarrassment. By discussing the protocol with your employees before anything happens, you’ll open the lines of communication more efficiently and allow for the best response to a positive test. If, or when, an employee does approach you to give you the news of a positive test, the most important thing to do is to act quickly to minimize the risk of transmission as much as possible.

Speak with the Affected Employee

If one of your employees confirms that they’ve tested positive for coronavirus, don’t panic. Make sure that you fully understand the circumstances so you can act appropriately. Ask your staff member if they had COVID-19 symptoms either while they were at work or 48 hours after work. While there is a range of symptoms associated with COVID-19, the primary ones to look for include fever, difficulty breathing, cough, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or the loss of taste or smell. If the employee in question has not experienced any symptoms either at work or within 48 hours of leaving work, it is not required to notify other staff members.

Determine “Close Contact” Network

For employees who did experience symptoms either at work or within a few days of leaving work, it’s essential that you determine the network of close contacts they had as soon as possible. This will help you avoid a large-scale spread throughout the office and surrounding community. Talk to the affected individual and have them provide you with information on who they saw or interacted with. Close contact is considered someone who’s been within six feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over the course of a 24-hour period.

Inform Employees While Upholding Confidentiality

Unfortunately, determining a comprehensive list of close contacts can be difficult in larger organizations. Regardless, you need to uphold the confidentiality of the infected individual to make sure that you’re in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the person with a confirmed case gives you permission to use their name, only then may you do so. Informing people without providing any details as to who exposed them can be done. Simply say that someone you have been in close contact with has been confirmed with a positive COVID-19 test. You can also inform your entire workforce of the incident to encourage individual testing and symptom monitoring.

Have Others Isolate or Work from Home

Depending on the details of the incident, it may be beneficial to have certain employees isolate and work from home. Close contacts should be required to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of testing results, to avoid any potential outbreaks. Other staff members should monitor their symptoms for 14 days and, if possible, give them the option of working from home.

Clean the Office Thoroughly

Once you’ve addressed your employees, take the time to clean your office thoroughly. Use proper ventilation and personal protective equipment (PPE) during this time to help minimize risk. If you’re uneasy about cleaning the office yourself, or want to ensure that it’s done efficiently, call the professionals at Bee Line. We provide a full deep cleaning of your office prior to more stringent disinfecting procedures.

Schedule Misting Disinfecting

The next step that you need to take is to schedule misting disinfecting with Bee Line. Our coronavirus disinfection misting is a surgical-grade misting technology that uses disinfectants that have been EPA approved for the use against the virus which causes COVID-19. The misting treats both hard and soft surfaces and helps to ensure that your staff is safe while in the office. For the most comprehensive coverage, consider adding misting to your regularly cleaning package. We have options for daily, weekly, and monthly services.

Integrate Rapid Testing Regularly

After experiencing a COVID-19 scare in your office, the importance of ongoing Rapid Testing becomes more apparent. While keeping your office as clean as possible is essential, catching any cases early can be the difference between one sick employee and twenty. Bee Line is now partnering with a trusted medical provider to offer you a comprehensive testing service for easy-to-schedule Rapid Testing. This can be scheduled for your entire staff, along with the option to schedule a licensed medical team member for administration, in a convenient and fast manner. We recommend that you schedule testing for all of your employees every three weeks, unless someone in your office tests positive. With a positive test, we recommend re-testing every seven days to help eliminate the spread of the virus to coworkers and clients. The Rapid Testing takes less than a minute per person and the results are returned in 15 minutes or less.

Work with a High-Touch Point Day Porter

For the best ongoing protection against office transmission, work with a High-Touch Point day porter from Bee Line. Our porters are specially trained in infection prevention techniques and will regularly disinfect high touch point areas in your office all day long. The chemicals used are EPA approved to kill viruses and pathogens but won’t cause harm to those who come in contact with them. To provide the necessary support, our day porters offer convenient scheduling that works with your office so that your staff and visitors feel safe, reassured, and healthy.

Bee Line is one of the only certified and medical-grade cleaning companies in the region. We employ specially trained teams and utilize surgical-grade misting technology to disinfect every square inch of your office harmlessly and efficiently. Remember, if you receive a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in your office, it’s important to take immediate action. In addition to adhering to the protocol of informing close contacts, make sure that you limit the transmission through ongoing cleaning, disinfecting, and testing. Following these measures may seem like a lot to handle but using a professional will give you the peace of mind you need when working during a pandemic. To stay up to date with Bee Line’s latest cleaning tips, advice and COVID updates, sign up for our newsletter. If you need to schedule a service call Bee Line at 312-BEE-LINE or message us today to get started.

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