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