Tip of the Week: An Employee Tested Positive for COVID-19. What Do I Need to Do?

During our Monday, April 13 “Food Safety and COVID-19: What Businesses Need to Know” webinar, we discussed recommendations to continue ensuring food safety. Rod Martell, Food Safety Professional, reviewed a number of practical scenarios, one of which has become a reality for production facilities this week.

We’ve had an employee test positive for COVID-19. What do I need to do in my facility?

As with any illness, your first step should be to send the employee home and have them call their doctor. Then, their doctor will determine next steps per established best practices and support services specific to your local community.

From there, communication with your employees and sanitation in your facility are necessary. Consider these actions:

1. Coordinate with HR

Coordinate with HR to proactively communicate with employees about what is being done.

  • For more guidance on steps to take with employee communication, please refer to the FDA FAQ website, as it has several items to consider.
  • They will then need to understand what cleaning procedures will take place. Share what you are doing to ensure worker health and safety, including cleaning best practices and appropriate PPE use.

2. Clean & Disinfect

Then you should clean the affected employees’ work station, as well as common areas, high touch areas, and ALL other areas they may have been in contact with.

  • We can virtually assign a sanitarian or GMP expert to support your facility during this time. We also offer the expert-led training on GMPs and Sanitation to meet your needs. Many of these seminars can be held in virtual or private trainings, while some are held in self-paced online courses.
  • Zoning and traffic mapping can be beneficial, but even if you know where that employee has been, you’ll need to clean your entire facility.
  • Reference the EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 for a list of disinfectants that meet EPA’s criteria.

3. Communicate to Employees

You will then need to communicate with employees and service providers about everything that has been done to ensure their health and safety and why it will keep them safe – it will be difficult to over-communicate on this point. Your efforts here will benefit employee morale.

As you have questions or need additional insights, please contact us at info@aibinterantional.com

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