Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Information
NPMA recognizes the need for our members to have accurate information as it relates to the Coronavirus. The most accurate and up-to-date information will come from the Coronavirus page on the Centers for Disease Control Website, not social media, conventional news outlets or politicians. We've collected information from the CDC website and have included below. We will continue to update this page as the situation unfolds.
PREPARING WORKPLACE SAFEGUARDS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Preparing Workplace Safeguards
- The CDC has published Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Designate a person in your office to check the CDC website daily to review the latest information on the spread of the virus and the CDC’s recommendations to employers and the general public. This person should take responsibility for sharing this information within your entire company.
- The CDC advises employers to emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand-hygiene by all employees using the following actions:
- Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
- All employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available). Don’t shake hands with others during this time.
- Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
- The CDC has published a coughing and sneezing etiquette and has a clean hands webpage containing more information.
- The CDC also recommends routine environmental cleaning:
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended by the CDC at this time.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly-used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
- The CDC further recommends as follows:
- Allow flexible use of sick leave policies during this time.
- Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home.
- Employers should be aware that more employees will stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
- Use this opportunity to communicate with your employees about seasonal flu prevention strategies, such as minimizing contact, not shaking hands and engaging in sound hygiene and sanitation.
- Do not panic or overreact but rather engage in sound business contingency planning. Begin by developing contingency plans about how you will operate in the event absenteeism rates greatly exceed those of a normal flu season.
- Develop a plan for communicating with your employees if a major pandemic breaks out. Plan for worse case scenarios now so you can effectively respond to what will likely be a rapidly changing situation. To do this, your management should anticipate and prepare for how you will answer the plethora of questions that will almost certainly be raised. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and similar state laws, employers have a general duty and obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment, even when the work occurs outside the employer’s physical premises. Furthermore, under these health and safety laws, employers must not place their employees in situations that are likely to cause serious physical harm or death.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a coronavirus?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
- How does the virus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
- How do I keep myself and others safe?
Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with practicing social distancing. Visit the COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.
- What if I’m traveling?
There are many travel restrictions in place for several countries. Click here for the CDC's latest travel information.
- What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.
- Where has the virus spread?
Global case numbers are reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report. For U.S. information, visit CDC’s COVID-19 in the U.S.
- What is CDC doing about COVID-19?
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. CDC works 24/7 to protect people’s health. More information about CDC’s response to COVID-19 is available online.
- How should our company communicate to our customers and employees?
Click here for sample communications plans to use as a starting point when crafting your own plans.