CDC Updates List of COVID-19 Symptoms

Written by Susan Kohn Ross

The CDC has expanded the list of symptoms which may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the COVID-19 virus and may cause mild symptoms to severe illness. As companies plan their eventual return to work, or plan to terminate or decrease telecommuting (pending when their local jurisdictions’ shelter-in-place orders change or cease), they will want to consider this most recent information from the CDC to determine and account for the safety and well-being of their employees. The original and newly added symptoms are listed below. Continue reading “CDC Updates List of COVID-19 Symptoms”

Public Spaces = Covered Faces

Written by Susan Kohn Ross

On Friday, April 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came out with a recommendation that anyone who goes out in public should wear a face covering.  The CDC took action based on recent studies which are said to show that “a significant portion” of individuals have the COVID-19 virus but are displaying no symptoms, and so are unknowingly infecting others. Speaking is cited as one of the situations by which asymptomatic individuals are spreading the virus. Therefore, CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, where social distancing may be difficult to maintain. Continue reading “Public Spaces = Covered Faces”

Be Prepared: What Should Employers Do About the Coronavirus?

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Written by Jeremy Mittman and Thea Rogers

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, will likely continue its spread around the world and to the U.S.  While we don’t know the extent to which the Coronavirus will take hold in the U.S., employers should start planning now so they can protect the safety of their workforces and maintain normal business operations, to the extent possible, should the Coronavirus have a significant impact.

In doing so, employers face potentially conflicting laws that should be taken into account in determining how to move forward.  For example, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and similar state laws, employers have a general duty and obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment and must not place their employees in situations that are likely to cause serious physical harm or death.  On the other hand, overreacting or implementing overbroad bans or quarantines that aren’t based on reasonable or reliable facts or information could violate laws that prohibit discrimination (based upon disability, national origin, or other protected characteristics).

Employers should contact counsel with any questions as they navigate putting together their Coronavirus (or general infectious disease prevention) plans and policies, or dealing with employee-specific issues that may arise.

Continue reading “Be Prepared: What Should Employers Do About the Coronavirus?”