The guidance applies to essential workers, such as those in the health care and food supply industry, who have been within 6 feet of a person who has a confirmed or suspected case of the new coronavirus.
CDC Director Robert Redfield says the employee can return to work as long as they take their temperature before they go to work, wear a face mask at all times and practice social distancing while they are at work.
Redfield said the employees should continue to stay home if they are sick. He also said employers in those critical industries should take the temperatures of a worker before allowing them to come back to work.
Redfield announced the new guidance during the daily White House briefing on the U.S. efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
The guidelines would not be a foolproof guard against spreading infection.
Recent studies have suggested that somewhere around 10% of new infections might be sparked by contact with individuals who are infected but do not yet exhibit symptoms. Scientists say it’s also possible that some people who develop symptoms and then recover from the virus remain contagious, or that some who are infected and contagious may never develop symptoms.
In an interview last week with a radio station in Atlanta, Redfield cited an estimate that 25% of infected people might not have symptoms. During a press briefing on Sunday, Fauci said between 25% and 50% of infected Americans are not exhibiting symptoms. He added: “That is an estimate. I don’t have any scientific data yet to say that.”
As of Wednesday, the U.S. had more than 400,000 confirmed cases of infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines for essential workers, such as those in the health care and food supply industries. The guidance is focused on when those workers can return to work after having been exposed to the new coronavirus.
- Do take your temperature before work.
- Do wear a face mask at all times.
- Do practice social distancing as work duties permit.
- Don’t stay at work if you become sick
- Don’t share headsets or objects used near face.
- Don’t congregate in the break room or other crowded places.
The CDC also issued guidance for employers in essential industries:
- Do take employees’ temperature and assess for symptoms prior to their starting work.
- Do increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
- Do increase air exchange in the building.
- Do send sick workers home immediately.
- Do test the use of face masks to ensure they don’t interfere with workflow.
Copyright © 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.