The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have issued interim guidance identifying safety practices for critical infrastructure workers who may have had exposure to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
The guidance applies to workers in the food and agriculture industries, which are among the 16 sectors designated as critical infrastructure industries.
CDC advises that “to ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue to work after potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.”
The guidance defines a potential exposure as a household contact or having close contact within six feet of an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. As identified by CDC, the timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.
As outlined in the guidance, critical infrastructure workers who have had an exposure but remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:
- Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
- Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
- Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
- Social Distance: The employee should maintain six feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
- Disinfect and Clean: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.
Read more in the guidance here.