(PoliticalLookout.Com)- The Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance on Wednesday that outlines how essential workers can get back on the field and working despite being exposed to coronavirus. The move comes as fears grow about essential workers being stuck at home for days and weeks, self-isolating over fears of being exposed.
According to the new CDC guidelines, essential workers can return to work after having close contact with people who test positive for COVID-19 as long as they take some precautions. It specifically says that “exposure” to the virus could include living with somebody with the virus or having been within six feet of somebody who has exhibited symptoms over the last 48 hours.
In normal circumstances, a person exposed in this way is asked to stay at home for a week to two weeks to ensure that they are not infected. However, essential workers are needed more than ever and doing this could put further strain on American hospitals and other infrastructure.
The concern was referenced during the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Wednesday when the director of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield said, “One of the most important things we can do is keep our critical workforce working.”
According to Redfield, the new guidelines will “get these workers back into the critical workforce so that we don’t have worker shortages.”
As part of the guidelines, employers are recommended to pre-screen employees.
“Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work,” the guidelines state. “Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.”
Employees and employers are also encouraged to regularly monitor temperature and do so under the supervision of the occupational health program.
Workers are also requested to wear face masks at all times for 14 days after their last exposure to the virus. Employers who cannot find masks are instructed to approve cloth face coverings instead.
Finally, the guidelines remind workers to regularly disinfect and clean all workspaces and common areas and maintain social distancing at all times.
Some of these measures are already in place for the general population, but for key workers they are particularly important as staying at home simply isn’t an option.