Based on the needs of individual jurisdictions, essential critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect the community. A potential exposure means being a household contact or intimate partner or having close contact within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes or more with an individual with confirmed or suspected infectious COVID-19, or having traveled from a country with widespread sustained transmission or on a cruise ship.
The Department of Homeland Security developed a list of essential critical infrastructure workers. (Law enforcement and corrections officers are both on the list.) The timeframe for
having contact with an infectious individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic until they meet CDC’s criteria for discontinuation of home isolation.
Employers of essential critical infrastructure workers should implement work practices to protect their workforce from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. Employers of and essential critical infrastructure workers who have had an exposure and remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:
• Self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program
including taking their temperature before each work shift to ensure they remain afebrile
• On days these individuals are scheduled to work, the employer should measure the
employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to their starting work
• The employee should wear a facemask at all times while in the workplace until 14 days
after last exposure
• The employee should practice social distancing as much as possible
• If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be separated from other
employees and be sent home immediately
• Employees should not share headsets or other objects
• Employees should avoid taking breaks together and congregating in break areas.
Consider staggering breaks to reduce time spent together.
• Employers should work with maintenance to increase air exchanges
• Employers should increase frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces
• Testing of asymptomatic employees is NOT recommended
Employers should implement the recommendations in the Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19in the workplace.