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Frequently Asked Questions

Employer FAQs

What do we do if someone at our business tests positive for COVID-19?
If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, notify CCHD. CCHD will then start the investigation and monitoring process of that employee and their direct contacts (f not already started). A direct contact is someone that’s been less than 6 ft for 20-30 minutes of the confirmed case. The confirmed employee will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and their direct contacts will be quarantined for the same amount of time. CCHD will provide 14 days of daily monitoring and investigation. Immediately disinfect and clean all surfaces and encourage employees who were in close contact with the confirmed case or those who exhibit symptoms to stay home for the 14 day exposure period. If not already, ensure proper social distancing measures are taken with remaining employees.
If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, can I inform other employees that they have been exposed?

Employers can inform employees that they may have been exposed but may not identify the infected employee or any health information about that employee. 

Will CCHD notify me if one of my employees tests positive for COVID-19?

If an individual test positive for COVID-19, the Christian County Health Department will immediately notify that individual and those who are direct contacts (anyone working within 6ft for 20-30 minutes or longer) to start the investigation and daily monitoring process. If you are not notified by CCHD when someone tests positive, you are not a direct contact of exposure of the positive case. An individual can choose to notify their employers at their discretion. Only those who are believed to be direct contacts of the positive COVID-19 case will be contacted.

If our business is still functioning as an essential service, how can we protect our employees from the spread of COVID-19?

Have a flexible and understanding sick policy and encouraging staff to stay home when feeling under the weather (regardless of previous sick/leave policies) is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Good examples of social distancing policies are:  splitting break & lunch times to have less people congregating in small spaces, allowing individuals to work from home if possible, use a smaller crew of people to do only the essential services, & providing important resources (disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer) to all employees. Encourage your staff who think they’ve had direct contact with a COVID-19 case to stay home and to contact their primary care physician. Practice good cleanliness and sanitation by implementing new cleaning routines with your staff. Encourage good hygiene and proper handwashing.

Can we allow staff to take unpaid time off to save their PTO?

Allowing employees to take unpaid time off versus PTO is up to the employer. The CDC is encouraging employers to be as flexible and lenient as possible with these unusual circumstances.

Can we require a doctor's note before someone comes back to work after 14 days of self-isolation?

It can be extremely difficult for healthcare providers to have the time to provide these notes in situations like these and some individuals are being independently tested for COVID-19 without a doctor’s order. It is recommended to be lenient and limit requesting doctor’s notes at this time.

Are all restaurants ordered to be closed or can they still serve take-out and delivery?

Restaurants have been ordered to practice social distancing by NOT allowing any food to be consumed inside the facility. Instead, restaurants are encouraged to continue offering drive through, curbside, and delivery.

Can employers or people in the community require someone to be tested if they're believed to be a direct contact of someone with COVID-19?

While we cannot force someone to be tested for COVID-19, all of those who are considered to be a direct contact with a confirmed case will be under the daily monitoring of CCHD. Anyone who tests POSITIVE is required to sign a “self-isolation” form agreeing to remain in isolation for 14 days of the exposure period. If a person does not agree to self-isolation, law enforcement can be called in for monitoring (only if the person has a confirmed positive COVID-19 test).

If my company must lay off employees because of the coronavirus, will they be able to get unemployment benefits? How soon will those benefits begin?

The waiting period of seven days for unemployment benefits is being waived for those who are losing their jobs because of COVID-19 and any work search requirements will also be waved. For more information visit: kewes.ky.gov

How do I apply for a Small Business Administration loan?

Kentucky is now certified for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans in response to COVID-19. The documents needed to apply can be found at www.kychamber.com/sba

Can I take employees temperature before allowing them to enter the workplace?

In a typical workplace, this would be considered a medical test and a violation of the ADA. This is permitted however if (1) the employer can show that it is job-related and consistent with a business necessity, or (2) the employer has a reasonable belief that the employee poses a “direct threat” to the health or safety of the individual or others that cannot otherwise be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. The EEOC instructs employers to rely on the latest CDC guidance to determine whether the pandemic would qualify as a “direct threat.”

Could I face a worker's compensation claim from an employee that claims they were exposed to COVID-19 at work?

This varies depending on your state’s worker’s compensation laws. Typically, a contagious disease contracted while working would fall under worker’s compensation coverage; however, particularly during a pandemic, it will be difficult to identify the source of an individual’s infection. If someone the individual works closely with daily tests positive, and the individual had extensive contact with that individual during the incubation period, this could be considered in a worker’s compensation claim. If your business is a healthcare facility treating COVID-19 patients, your employees are more likely to have a valid claim.

Is a deep cleaning recommended for when a business is notified of a confirmed COVID-19 case?
It is important to always keep high traffic surfaces clean and disinfected while working during this COVID-19 outbreak. It is important to keep your hands, door handles, tables, etc. clean and sanitized to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If there has been a confirmed COVID-19 at your business, it is recommended by the CDC to properly clean and disinfect surfaces. For more guidance on the CDC’s recommendations for cleaning, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting-building-facility.html.