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Town of Wheatfield issues coronavirus guidelines for employees

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Fri, Mar 13th 2020 06:15 pm

Schools, businesses, governmental agencies continue to adjust to the coronavirus, with the latest being municipalities.

On Friday, Supervisor Don MacSwan told the Tribune the Town of Wheatfield has adjusted its employee policy in response to COVID-19. Specifically, he indicated the town would adhere to various employee guidelines in response to the virus as outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the highlights:

“Wheatfield shall ‘actively engage’ sick employees to stay home. Specifically, the guidance states that ‘[e]mployees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4 F [37.8C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).

“The guidance also recommends that departments speak with third party companies that provide contract or temporary employees about eh importance of sick employees staying home.”

Addressing an actual exposure, the town’s employment policy continues: “In the event that an employee is confirmed to have the coronavirus, the guidance states that employers ‘should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to 2019-nCoV in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ACA).’

“It further states that ‘[e]mployees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed 2019-nCoV should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.’ ”

With regards to travel, it states, “The guidance recommends advising employees to check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Services for the latest recommendations for each country to which they would travel. Employees travelling to and from China should consult the CDC’s China-specific guidance.

“Employees should also be advised to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness (including fever, coughing and difficulty breathing) before starting travel and to notify the department head and stay home if they display symptoms or otherwise feel sick either during or following travel.”

And regarding family or household members who may have been diagnosed, it states employees “should notify their department head and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.”

“To that end, employees who are diagnosed with coronavirus or who have a household member with the virus are required to notify the town of such diagnosis to their department head. Department heads shall (notify) the supervisor’s office of any diagnoses and severe illnesses in their respective departments. Confidentiality of medical information shall be maintained to the greatest extent possible, taking into account the need to protect other employees and the general public.”

MacSwan closed by stating, “Please note this policy is subject to change, based on (the) situation.”

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HERE is a link to the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, the coronavirus, from the New York State Department of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control has an extensive list of what to do, not do, and where/how to find help.

Find more information at these sites:

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