Having an employee coming down with COVID can be scary. First of all, you might not know who else has been infected, including you. Second of all, having a widespread outbreak on your hands could force your business to shut down for a while. Not only will you lose money while you’re closed, but the outbreak could be detrimental to your brand. This is why you need to take the situation very seriously and take the measures necessary to prevent the situation from worsening. Let’s take a look at what you should do if one of your employees tested positive for COVID.
Have Everyone Tested if They Have Been in Close Contact
If you have the means for it, everyone in your facility should be tested regularly. But, if you can’t do this, you need to at least have the people who were in close contact with the person tested. You could choose to only test those who worked in the same area or all people from the same department.
You could have everyone go to a clinic like Reliant Urgent Care for COVID testing. They can give you a COVID diagnostic in as little as two hours and it will cost you about $200 per employee. Once you know who’s infected and who’s not, you can start ramping up the safety measures in your facility.
Have the Whole Place Sanitized
The next step is to get your whole facility sanitized. Here, we would suggest that you hire a professional team. You first have to make sure that the company is licensed and has a good reputation. Next, you have to know what methods they use and if they have special plans for regular cleanings. This is because you want them to come back every week at the very least.
Perform Sentinel Testing
Another thing you should do if you want to prevent outbreaks in the future but you don’t have the money to have everyone tested is to perform what is called sentinel testing. Sentinel testing is when you have a small random group of employees tested once every five days.
Studies show that testing 17% of employees every five days for three months reduces the infection rate by 25% while testing 40% of the workforce at the same frequency for the same period reduces infection rates by more than 55%. It is up to you to see how much you can afford to spend on testing and do everything necessary to be aware of the health status of your employees at all times.
Make Modifications and Invest in Technology
You also have to see if you could make modifications to your workplace to reduce the risk of outbreaks in the future. This could include improving your ventilation system and investing in high-grade HEPA filters and things like UVC light disinfection. Consider issuing face screens to all employees in addition to N-95 masks and increase the number of sanitation stations if possible.
These are all things that you can do immediately after someone has screened positive for COVID in your organization. Act fast and do everything you can to protect the rest of your employees and the public.