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How to Respond if Someone Exhibits Coronavirus Symptoms at Work

Coronavirus Covid-19

Monday, April 6, 2020

  • Firstly, ensure that your managers and supervisors are all aware of the key signs and symptoms of Covid-19
  • Brief them as to the protocol to follow when a member of staff exhibits Covid-19 symptoms
  • You should identify any members of your workforce who would fall under the “social shielding” category despite the fact these individuals will have had a letter requesting them to be isolated for 12 weeks they may still be coming to work. These members of staff may have underlying health issues that are not obvious.

In the event of a member of staff becoming unwell, whilst at work and exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, they or someone who has witnessed the employee should:

  • Tell their employer immediately of their concerns
  • The unwell employee should immediately go home but you should ensure you are aware of their travel needs and if necessary, arrange for suitable transport. Isolate them in an empty room until they can travel home safely.
  • Ensure that all items they have come into contact with are cleaned down and request that they avoid as far as practical touching surfaces or items that others may come into contact with whilst they prepare to leave
  • If they are coughing or sneezing, they should do so into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow
  • If practicable ensure they use a separate bathroom from other staff
  • A decision on workers who have had contact with the employee will need to be made to ensure the infection does not transmit more widely. This will be dependent on the environment, work undertaken and obviously proximity of co-workers. You should assess the proximity of staff they have been working with and take medical advice on the extent to isolation
  • If the unwell person lives alone, they must self-isolate for 7 days. If they live with others and is the first to have symptoms, they must self-isolate for 7 days. Everyone else in their household must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, the person with the new symptoms must self-isolate for 7 days. This is regardless of where they are in the 14-day isolation period.

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