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FAQ: How Employees Can Navigate COVID-19

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization March 11, 2020. To provide additional information regarding how this pandemic will impact the workplace, we’ve scoured resources and have compiled a list of common FAQs to help serve as a guide.  

What is COVID-19? 

respiratory disease first detected in China that has now spread to more than 100 countries and has been declared a pandemicOriginally called Coronavirus, it is formally known as SARS-CoV-2, abbreviated to COVID-19. 

What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms for Coronavirus (COVID-19) typically include fever, cough or shortness of breath and will appear 2-14 days after exposure.  

How is Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread? 

We don’t know a lot about the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19); however, we do know that the virus is spread person-to-personThe pathogen can move through the air, carried in tiny respiratory droplets that are produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes.  

What's the best way to avoid getting or spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

The best ways to stop the spread disease are by avoiding close contact (within 6 feet) with other peoplepracticing good hygiene through handwashing, cleaning often-used surfaces and covering your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Most importantly, do not go to work if you are feeling ill.  

Can I use sick time to help a family member? 

Yes, you can use allocated sick time to care for an ill family member.  

When should I stay home? 

If you, or someone you live with or are in frequent contact with, exhibit any symptoms, stay home.   

If a close colleague gets sick, should I stay home? 

Many employers are enabling more flexible work-from-home policies to discourage the spread of disease; however, this does not apply to everyone. As with anything in your workplace, get your employer’s approval first before making any decisions. All employees should feel comfortable sharing their concerns with their employers, and employers must take those concerns seriously. 

Should we avoid in-person meetings? 

It is best to err on the side of caution! Thankfully, we live in an era where it is easy to connect with colleagues virtuallyAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, avoiding large gatherings is one way to help prevent the spread of this disease, so consider using other methods of communication for your meetings for the time being.  

If I’m still working at my workplace, what can we do to avoid getting Coronavirus? 

Limit close contact as much as possible, clean common spaces with disinfectant, practice good hygiene and encourage fellow employees to stay home if they aren't feeling well.  

For more information regarding Coronavirus and its impact on the workplace, click here.