DoD has issued new guidance expanding on previous policies regarding when its employees should or should not go to their regular workplace and other worksite-related issues related to the Coronavirus pandemic.
It says that components are to restrict access to workplaces “to the fullest extent practical consistent with mission needs” by persons fitting CDC standards of who should not go to work.
Civilian employees, military and contractor personnel with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should “notify their supervisor and stay home,” and sick personnel should not return to work until CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.
Those who have been potentially exposed—based on contact with someone who has a confirmed or presumptive infection—should notify their supervisors even if they personally have no symptoms.
“As a general rule, these personnel should not return to the workplace until they have self-isolated for 14 days from the COVID-19 positive individual” and the supervisor, in consultation with appropriate medical authorities, determines that the individual “does not present a threat to the safety of the work force.”
The exception, it says, is that for mission essential activities, asymptomatic personnel who otherwise would be self-isolating may be kept on the job if they follow certain practices for 14 days after the last exposure.
Those include daily screening with temperature checks, wearing a face covering, not sharing headsets or other objects used near the face, continuing to use social distancing as much as possible, and cleaning and infecting the workspace daily. If they become symptomatic, it adds, they should be sent home immediately.
The guidance also addresses matters such as collection by management of information on exposure or illness by employees and procedures for disinfecting workplaces. Further, routine industrial hygiene and safety surveys can be suspended, as can routine hearing and lung function testing, it says.