Principles of outbreak management:
Prevention and Preparedness
- Implementing mandatory physical distancing requirements
- Encouraging consistent hand hygiene
- Implementing use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (i.e.: masks, plasti-shields, traffic control)
- Encouraging personal hygiene
- Taking cleaning and disinfecting measures
- Informing respiratory etiquette (i.e.: covering coughs and sneezes)
- Providing education, awareness, and continual supervision of our facilities and intervening if needed
Controlling and Resolving an Outbreak
We recommend that you follow this three-step plan when addressing a confirmed COVID-19 case in your workplace:
1. Isolate/Quarantine Confirmed Employees
a) Send home all employees who worked in close contact(within 2 meters, for 15 mins+ without wearing PPE/acceptable protective wear such as cloth masks) with the infected employee for 14 days after last exposure under your local health authority guidelines to ensure the infection does not spread. Encourage the employee to go get tested. If they receive a negative result and are not experiencing symptoms, the local health authority may clear them to return to work earlier than 14 days.
b) Speak to the employee to get their permission (should they test positive) that we can share their name when speaking to employees (please get approval via a written form, such as email).
c) In consultation with the employee, gather a list of employees, members or guests who:
- If an employee came in general contact with 48 hours prior to displaying symptoms. It’s been suggested up to 14 days in some cities, perhaps we make it 2-14 days based on your local health authority’s guidelines.
- If an employee came in close contact with (within 2 meters, for 15 mins+ without wearing PPE during those dates).
- If an employee’s test comes back positive, inform the staff and members who they came in contact with to suggest they get tested if they wish.
2. Clean and Disinfect Your Workplace
After a confirmed COVID-19 case, follow the local health authority guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the workplace. Cleaning staff or a third-party sanitation contractor should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the COVID positive person, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
3. Notify Employees and Members*
- The employer must not reveal any confidential medical information such as the name of the employee to their member base. If they reveal information, written consent is required.
- Inform employees of the actions you have taken, including requiring employees who worked closely to the infected worker to go home.
- Let employees and members know about your sanitizing and cleaning efforts and remind them to seek medical attention if they exhibit symptoms.
If a member or staff show symptoms of COVID-19 while at your facility, ensure you have measures, such as the following:
Notify your local health authority.
Ensure that anyone who spent time near them (during the specific time-period) is notified.
Recommend that those who came in contact with them begin to isolate for 14 days and recommend that they get tested in order to be cleared.
Offer suggestions for safe method of transportation to their home if they used public transportation to attend your facility that will not expose any unknowing participants.
If there is refusal to leave the facility, for the safety of the staff and members, you may deny further entry; rely on the health authority to handle the situation.
STEP 1: Employee/Member notifies management if symptomatic or COVID + result.
STEP 2: Begin following the rapid response plan plan including isolating the COVID+ person.
STEP 3: The facility notifies their local health authority immediately. Rapid Response Plan is reviewed and followed.
For more information on COVID19 please visit: Public Health Agency of Canada
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