All About Covid-19
A “close contact” is defined as a person who has been within 6 feet of an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 for more than 15 cumulative minutes while the infected individual is contagious.
A person diagnosed with COVID-19 is considered contagious 2 days before the onset of symptoms until 10 days after the onset of symptoms. If the diagnosed person does not have any symptoms, they are considered contagious 2 days before the positive test until 10 days after the positive test.
For example if you find out employee A was diagnosed with COVID-19 today, and Employee B spent less then 15 minutes in any 24 hour period with them over the last 2 days, Employee B is not a close contact. If Employee B spent 10 minutes one morning and 10 minutes that afternoon with Employee A then they are a close contact.
First, you must determine if the employee is a "close contact" of the infected person. (See rules above.)
If they are indeed a close contact, they must be quarantined for 14 days. No if's and's or but's about it. They should monitor their condition during this time. Testing may or may not be a required by the health department even though the CDC does not recommend testing in this situation.
A contact of a “close contact” does not have any strict recommendations. They don’t need to be quarantined for 14 days, but should be alert for symptoms (watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath or unexplained loss of smell or taste) practice social distancing (maintain 6 ft. of distance and stay out of crowded places) and follow CDC guidelines if symptoms develop.
For example, Mark and Jessica worked at the pizza shop assembling pizza boxes on March 9th, the same day Jessica found out she was a close contact to a person with COVID-19 symptoms. Jessica will need to stay in quarantine until March 22nd based on her last exposure, while Mark only needs to be on alert for symptoms and report any symptoms of COVID-19 to his boss if they develop.
The general rule is an employee can return to work when: At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared or the diagnosis was made; AND At least 24 hours has passed without fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND All COVID-19 symptoms have disappeared or improved dramatically.
Close Contact Employees Without a Diagnosis
Employees that were previously quarantined as a close contact may return to work after they have completed their 14 day quarantine AND they have no symptoms of COVID-19.
Testing for restaurant employees is not very useful in most cases as it only provides a snapshot in time. For example, someone could have negative results today buy positive results tomorrow.
Here is a common scenario: you were informed that Employee A has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and Employee B was working with him all day yesterday and is now considered a close contact and should be quarantined for 14 days.
Why don't we just test Employee B and see if he is infected? This sounds like a perfect solution. The problem is that a negative test today only means that the test did not show the disease today. It does not mean the disease is not developing in Employee B based on the recent exposure with Employee A. To further complicate the problem most tests will give a significant percentage of false negative results.
There is no firm data on how long after an exposure will result in a positive test. It may be hours or days in some cases. The final word is that testing is not the answer for close contacts coming back to work
We all know a certain president that was tested daily and one day it is positive. He was certainly exposed in the days before that test and produced negative tests
QUARANTINE keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others.
ISOLATION keeps someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home.
PRIOR TO DELIVERY:.
1. Take full payment including tip online or over the phone..
2. Receive directions for where the customer would like their food placed. (i.e. on steps, by garage,front porch, in mailbox, etc. . . ).
3. Explain to the customer this will be a CONTACT-FREE delivery..
4. For third-party food delivery, consider setting up a handwashing station for the drivers. A Cambro style coffee urn filled with hot water and nearby soap, paper towels and a container for waste. Water retention allow for handwashing. You may even want to provide hand sanitizers or have a sanitizing hand-dip station set up. All drivers should be provided with disposable gloves..
5. Prior to sending food away with driver make sure all foods are under temperature control. Cold food should be placed in separate containers from hot food to help maintain product temperatures..
6. Delivery drivers should have coolers or insulated bags that should be cleaned and disinfected every four hours..
7. The delivery vehicle should be cleaned and disinfected daily. This includes the steering wheel, shifters, radio controls and doorhandles – anything that hands touch..
1. Have delivery employees wear single-use gloves and change when contamination occurs..
2. The packaging MUST stay closed and intact. It may not be opened by anyone except for the person placing the order..
3. Have the driver confirm the customer that food has been delivered via text or phone call to the costumer. You may want your driver to wait in the car to assure food is picked up..
1. Apply hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content when available after a delivery and change gloves..
2. Disinfect delivery bags before picking up new orders..
1. Determine the best space for Pick-Up orders in your establishment. If your restaurant has a vestibule, that could work well. If not, set up an area near your front door.
2. Re-purpose shelving or similar to keep orders at least 6 inches off the ground for the new Pick-Up area.
3. Create a labeling system for orders.a. We recommend a bold sharpie or print out a label with the customer’s name and an order number and place the order where the information can be read from a distance.
PRIOR TO PICKUP:
1. Take full payment including tip online or over the phone.
2. Explain to the customer this will be a CONTACT-FREE Pick-Up and if there is anyone in line looking for an order to leave 6 ft. of space between everyone.
3. Ask your customer what their ETA is and let them know when you expect the food to be ready. Givethem an order number that will be visible on the Pick-Up order.
4. After washing hands with warm water (making sure to scrub for 20 seconds) the designated employee should don a pair of non-latex gloves, place the order in the Pick-Up area and then immediately washhands again. (If multiple orders are being placed in the Pick-Up area, gloves should be changed and hands washed every 15 minutes.) Gloves should be changed if they become torn or soiled.
5. Prior to placing food in the Pick-Up area make sure all foods are under temperature control: cold food should be placed in separate containers from hot food to help maintain product temperatures.
1. Clean and disinfect any commonly touched areas in the pick-up process including the door handles.
1. Keep your staff and customers safe by not having them interact face to face.
2.. Staff not currently scheduled to work should be denied entry to the establishment.
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On October 1st, 2020, Massachusetts updated the “SECTOR SPECIFIC WORKPLACE SAFETY STANDARDS FOR RESTAURANTS TO ADDRESS COVID-19”. The guidelines may be found at : https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-restaurants The specific requirements are outlined in detail in this document.