Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other


COVID-19 pandemic: CDC adjusts return-to-work guidance for essential employees


Photo: Hirurg/iStockphoto

Washington — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines intended to allow workers employed in “critical infrastructure” to return to their jobs more quickly after exposure to people with known or suspected cases of COVID-19.

Previously, essential workers were instructed to remain home for a 14-day period after exposure or potential exposure. As outlined April 8 by CDC Director Robert Redfield during a White House coronavirus task force press briefing, the new interim guidance enables these workers to return to work if they do not have symptoms and follow various other precautions such as taking their temperature before going to work, wearing a facemask at all times, frequently cleaning and disinfecting workspaces, and practicing physical distancing on the job.

According to CDC, the guidance covers workers in the following sectors:

  • Federal, state and local law enforcement
  • 911 call center employees
  • Fusion center employees
  • Hazardous material responders from government and the private sector
  • Janitorial and other custodial staff
  • Individuals employed in food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, informational technology, transportation, energy, and government facilities

“We appreciate the dedication of all brave people responding to the challenges of #COVID19 to keep their communities safe and healthy,” Redfield wrote in an April 8 tweet, “and we will continue working to find ways to keep these individuals as safe as possible during this challenging time.”