Responding to a Positive Case
When King's receives confirmation that an employee or student has had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, there are important measures that will be promptly taken.
When evaluating the dissemination of information about a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, King’s will follow the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidance that is endorsed by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
In addition, consideration will be given to whether coworkers, visitors, vendors and others who may have had close contact with the individual ought to be notified that they may have been exposed to ensure appropriate steps are taken.
King’s has designated 25 safe spaces where a student can successfully self-isolate on campus.
We have coordinated meal delivery from our partners at Chartwells where necessary.
Below is King’s specific response plan and timeline we will utilize when responding to a positive employee case:
- If the employee is currently in the facility, quickly determine a strategy for the employee to leave.
- Consider how to handle this situation to avoid exposure to others, while protecting the dignity and privacy of the individual
- Meeting of employee’s manager/supervisor, key executives, HR
- Assess whether to send all employees home for the day/close the building where the employee worked
- Identify a designated employer representative to obtain additional information from infected employee and conduct telephone interview (assuming employee is medically able to participate)
- Develop list of individuals likely to have had close contact with the infected employee within the past two days (i.e. within 6 feet of distance for 15 minutes)
- Identify individual(s) responsible for communication plan for those who had close contact with infected individual and prepare plan
- Prepare communication to employees
- Identify person to arrange for thorough cleaning/disinfecting per CDC Guidance
- Assign individuals to implement response plan and action items
- Assess work impact of closure of facility
- Determine whether remote work is possible and set up systems/equipment
- Execute communication plan for coworkers and others who had close contact with infected individual
- Communicate with workforce about closure and anticipated return to work timing
- King's will coordinate with state and local health officials so timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses
- Confirm arrangements for cleaning/disinfection of facility
- Conduct cleaning of facility to include:
a. Closing off areas used by an infected person and waiting as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets.
b. Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
c. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
d. Follow CDC steps for enhanced cleaning.
- Update OSHA 300 Log if all of the following are true:
a. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19;
b. The case is work-related, meaning an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition, and
c. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7 (which includes injuries that will result in days away from work, injuries that require medical treatment, and injuries that will result in work restrictions)
- Develop a plan to address potentially impacted essential employees:
a. If employees remain asymptomatic, the CDC recommends that employers:
i. Pre-screen employees by taking temperatures
ii. Regularly monitor employee symptoms
iii. Enforce masks and social distancing in the workplace
iv. Disinfect and clean workspaces regularly
b. If employees have symptoms, be prepared to send them home immediately and clean and disinfect their work areas.
Within 72 Hours
Prepare a plan for the diagnosed employee to return to work. Human Resources will contact employee and communicate guidelines on staying away from campus and paid time off.
We will review and update CDC guidelines periodically for guidance on returning to work. Symptomatic employees with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis:
- Can be excluded from work until at least 3 days have passed since recovery (no fever without the use of fever reducing medication and improvement of respiratory symptoms); and
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Asymptomatic employees with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis:
- Can be excluded from work until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive test.
- Employees returning to work must:
- Wear face mask;
- Minimize contact with any high-risk co-workers; and
- Self-monitor for symptoms
In the event that a King’s College student is diagnosed with a reportable communicable disease, including COVID-19, the Director of Student Health Services should be notified by the individual at 570-208-5852.The Director will provide guidance and then make the appropriate report/s.
The Director will notify the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Vice President for Student Affairs will notify the college President and other appropriate members of Senior Staff.
Residence Life will be notified by the Director of Student Health Services or the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. It will be up to the diagnosing provider and public health guidelines whether the student should return home, be housed on or off campus, or transferred to the hospital.
Should a public statement or press release be necessary, it must be coordinated through the Senior Staff.
In the event a King’s employee is diagnosed, the employee must notify the Director of Human Resources at 570-266-3060. The Director of Human Resources will contact the impacted employee to discuss time off, working away from campus, and discuss what necessary notifications must occur.
Employees will seek guidance and treatment options from their healthcare provider. Employees will need to provide a release to work from their healthcare provider in order to return to campus.
Below is a sample workforce notification the College may utilize:
SAMPLE NOTIFICATION TO WORKFORCE
The health and safety of our employees is a top priority, and in these unprecedented times, this priority continues to guide our business decisions. Today, we learned that one of our employees in the (enter facility here) facility tested positive for COVID-19. After making sure that this individual is not in the workplace and suggesting they receive care, we want to make sure that our workforce understands the steps we are taking to ensure your health and safety, including anyone who may have had close contact with this individual.
Facility Closure and Disinfection
We are closing the facility, effective (enter date here), and sending all employees home while we undertake thorough cleaning and disinfection the facility. These steps will be taken in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations. We anticipate that these steps will be completed by (enter date here), and that all employees will return to work on (enter date here) . Until then, only personnel with prior authorization will be permitted access to the facility.
Continued Attention to Heightened Hygiene
Upon return to work, we will continue our heightened environmental cleaning regimen in accordance with CDC recommendations, including routine cleaning of all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. We advise all employees to continue their personal regimens related to reducing transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
We have notified those employees and others who potentially have been exposed to the infected individual through close contact at work. According to the CDC, close contact means being within approximately six feet of a person with a symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case for a period of 15 minutes.
The CDC categorizes such exposure as a Medium Risk, which means the exposed individual, if asymptomatic, should remain at home, practice social distancing, and actively monitor for symptoms.
We understand that you may have questions and concerns, and we will update you as we move forward. We reiterate our commitment to the health and safety of our workforce. This is new territory for all of us, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions as we move forward together.
Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. Should you have any questions please see your supervisor or Human Resources.