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COVID-19 Epidemic

ANGELA C. DUNN, MD MPH STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, UTAH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


COVID-19: -

Coronaviruses are common (including common cold)

-

This is new because it is a previously unseen virus, likely from an animal and mutated enough to enter a human host

-

Live animal markets act as reservoirs—prolonged contact, 1st case early December 2019

-

Incubation 2–14 days

-

Symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath à pneumonia, bronchitis


The COVID-19 virus is spread by droplets (likely).


How are we going to stop the spread? u Prevention u Identification u Isolation

/ Quarantine u Contact Tracing


Prevention u

Frequent cleaning

u

Prepare occupational health clinics

u

Use technology solutions

u

Stagger shifts

u

Cancel work-related travel to affected areas


Level 3: China, Korea, Iran, Italy Level 2: Japan


Identify employees at risk for COVID-19


Risk = Exposure + Symptoms


Testing criteria 1.

Fever OR respiratory symptoms AND close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

2.

Fever AND respiratory symptoms AND travel to Level 3 or 2 country

3.

Severe respiratory illness (e.g., no pneumonia) with no other explanation


Who will be isolated? u

+ COVID-19 u

u

Testing for COVID-19 u

u

Until they test negative Until test results come back

Close contacts of a person with COVID-19 u

14 days from last exposure


You can help employees adhere to isolation. u Flexible

work policies u Evaluate leave polices u Protect privacy u Provide support


You should prepare. u

u

Think: u

Mass gathering cancellations

u

50% absenteeism

u

Supply chain interruptions

Prepare: u

Cross-train employees

u

Temp agencies

u

Technology solutions


Day-to-Day Guidance for Businesses -

Sick employees should stay home and not return until 24 hours without fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms—publicize these guidelines with posters

-

Encourage, normalize, and facilitate frequent handwashing or hand sanitization (60–95% alcohol) practices

-

Perform routine environmental cleaning

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Do not require a medical provider note for absences; flexibility is paramount

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Employees with a sick family member should conduct a selfassessment of their potential exposure and notify their manager if necessary


Planning for Businesses -

Closures of schools and childcare may result in absenteeism

-

Identify the most essential functions required to maintain operation

-

Cross-train employees as needed to maintain functionality

-

Establish flexible work sites, work hours, or staggered shifts

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Establish communications processes (e.g., timing and distribution system for COVID-19 updates)

-

Work closely with your local health department since protocols may be geographically specific


-

General good public health practice applies: -

Wash hands frequently

-

Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands haven’t been washed

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Disinfect surface areas when possible

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Stay away from sick people

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Don’t go to areas with large groups of people (e.g., work, school) if you are sick

-

People who are well don’t need to wear a face mask

-

Quit shaking hands (fistbumps, elbow/foot taps encouraged)


Employer’s can help stop the spread of COVID-19. u

Increase cleaning

u

Flexible work and leave policies

u

Educate employees

u

Prepare for the health of your employees and your business


Common Misconceptions u

u

u

This not a natural disaster u

No need to buy water and toilet paper

u

Public should prepare for possible isolation/quarantine

The virus is not that scary for most u

Most cases are asymptomatic/mild

u

Older adults / medically fragile are at high risk

Not everyone needs to be tested u

No specific treatment

u

All people with respiratory symptoms should isolate themselves from others while ill


Common Questions u

Can the COVID-19 virus live on surfaces?

u

What if you have an employee with symptoms?

u

What will happen if an employee is asked to isolate at home?

u

How can people get tested?

u

When will mass gatherings be cancelled?


Thank you Angela C. Dunn, MD MPH 801-538-6226 AngelaDunn@utah.gov Acknowledgements: Nathaniel Lewis, Utah Department of Health Keegan McCaffrey, Utah Department of Health


Online Resources u

Coronavirus.Utah.gov

u

CDC Guidance for Businesses and the Workplace https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/specific-groups/guidance-businessresponse.html

u

Johns Hopkins case map:

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdash board/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9 ecf6

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