At SafeWorks, it is always our responsibility to ensure the well-being of our patients and our client companies.
During this challenging time, with the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are being extra-vigilant to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Since mid-January 2020, we have been following the situation closely.
We are encouraging frequent handwashing by our staff. We also recommend ‘Social distancing’ which means, according to Centers for Disease Control, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately six feet) from others, when possible. SafeWorks Illinois has also increased cleaning and sanitizing measures within our facility.
For the most up to date and complete list of preventative measures, visit the CDC website.
For patients who are sick or suspect possible development or exposure to COVID-19, it is recommended to stay home and call your doctor immediately. Guidance given by the CDC on what to do if you are sick is listed here. Please also see this information from the Illinois Department of Health.
We are advising our client companies to plan ahead. All employers should begin development of an action plan on ways to prevent the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19 within their workplace.
The CDC recommends employers:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:
- Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
- Separate sick employees:
- CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately.
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
- Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning:
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
Together, we will get through this current crisis.
As a board-certified public health specialist, I want our patients and client companies to know how SafeWorks and 217 Immediate Care is responding to the current situation.
As an employer of health care workers, we will set an example and make sure that sick SafeWorks employees are kept home. We are reviewing our absence policies and crafting strategies for ensuring that essential duties are covered.
Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.
David J. Fletcher, MD MPH
SafeWorks/217 Immediate Care Medical Director