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CDC Close Contact in the Workplace

a couple types of face masks

With the temperatures decreasing and the winter season getting closer every day, there is a big concern that COVID-19 may have another surge that could be deadlier than what we witnessed throughout the spring/summer. If you haven’t seen the CDC website recently, we wanted to focus our blog on the expanded definition of “close contact” in the workplace and what it entails.

Since many businesses have either shifted online or taken measurements to operate at their physical location, they’ve had to create plans to try and protect employees from contracting and spreading the virus further. The previous CDC statement about “close contact” labeled it as being within six feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case for fifteen minutes consecutively. Although, the new statement they came out with on October 22nd expands upon the fifteen minutes being totaled over a twenty-four-hour period. This means if a worker was next to a confirmed case for fifteen minutes, but it was divided into three intervals of five minutes or more, this would fit the definition of “close contact.”

Although this is a good step to try and limit the possible spread of the virus from a confirmed patient to someone who is virus-free, this can be challenging to calculate time for employers and employees alike. On the other hand, your workplace doesn’t have to follow the CDC guidelines by law, but it’s up to the employers.

For more ways to protect yourself and others on the job, the use of respiratory equipment that has been proven efficient is a great step in taking accurate precautions. Some of the best masks to use include:

  • N95 – Used in high priority building such as hospitals and schools. Employees would need to be trained on how to effectively put these on and secure them.
  • Face Shield – Made of plastic which covers your entire facial area, with the ability to wash and sanitize them easily.
  • Surgical Masks – Some of the most common masks out there, but doesn’t protect against airborne transmissions. Should be discarded after first use.

With no vaccine making its way through the approval process as of yet, we still need to practice social distancing and keep wearing masks as we go about our daily routine. The only way for us to get through this is by protecting one another, even when it may bother us.

Let us know if you have more questions about the CDC’s coronavirus guidelines or about what services we’re offering. We hope you’re staying happy and healthy!

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