COVID-19 Workplace Protective Measures Summary

Dept. of Aging's COVID-19 Workplace Protective Measures Summary including home visits, meals on wheels, congregate dining, and telework.

Basic Infection-Control Prevention Measures

  • Promote frequent hand washing with soap and water as first measure of protection.  Provide hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for back-up protection.
  • Encourage employees to stay home if they are sick. Period.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette; cover coughs and sneezes with inside elbow.
  • Discourage employees from using other employee phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.  If workspace is shared, thorough cleaning between employees must occur by using an antibacterial/viral wipe or solution.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces often. Assign staff to clean common areas.
  • Waiting areas should have 6ft of spacing between chairs.  Optimally waiting area chairs should be plastic and not upholstered.  Waiting area chairs should be cleaned at least once per day.  Ideally, staff should spray or wipe chair arms after each use.
  • Staff to wear masks when dealing with public and clients. Plexiglas can be used as a barrier as well, especially in a reception area or common area.
  • Provide masks to visitors/clients upon entering the department, if they are able to tolerate.  If not able, please ensure employees are wearing a mask for their protection.
  • Identify areas where sneeze guards/Plexiglas should be implemented amongst employee workspaces, public counters, and in rooms where visitors/clients are receiving services or meeting face to face, especially if space is limited.
  • Meetings optimally should be held remotely via applications such as ZOOM, GoToMeeting, etc.  In-person meetings, when preferred, should have 6ft of space between chairs. Masks must be worn if 6ft of spacing cannot be maintained. Room should be bigger than needed for the number of people attending.
  • For employees traveling to work/meetings in shared vehicles, the number of individuals in one vehicle should be reduced to apply some social distancing.  It is noted that maintaining 6ft of spacing in a vehicle may be difficult.  In such cases, individuals should wear face masks while traveling together in the vehicle. 

Identification and Isolation of Sick Employees or Visitors/Clients

  • Cattaraugus County already has protocol and procedures in place for employees and visitors for health checks upon entering into the county facilities. FOLLOW THOSE PROCEDURES. Otherwise, if you are working remotely and are unsure of the procedures or are not a county employee in a county facility, at least adhere to the following general safety guidelines:
  • Employees (contracted staff, volunteers, interns, etc.) should self-monitor for symptoms.  Symptoms may include any of the following:  cough, shortness of breath, fever (>100.4), chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste and smell (CDC).  Employee should not come into work if any of these symptoms are noted by the employee.  This list is not all-inclusive. Notify the appropriate work station and contact person.
  • Take temperatures and assess for symptoms of illness daily of each employee upon arrival to work. Record and sign off on temperature and attestation of health before beginning of shift.  If fever or symptoms are recorded, employee must be sent home. Instruct employee to seek care from their medical provider. Preferably, no touch thermometers will be ordered for use, but if using a touch thermometer, clean between uses with alcohol wipes.  Call the health department for further questions regarding symptoms.  If employee is tested for COVID-19 or their medical provider removes them from work for quarantine, notify the health department.  The health department will perform contact tracing, administering of isolation/quarantine orders and daily assessment of signs and symptoms.
  • Prompt identification and isolation of ill visitors/clients. 
    • For visitors/clients meeting with an employee, monitor them for signs and symptoms and take their temperature, see above. 
    • If an ill visitor/client is identified, reschedule the appointment.  Instruct the visitor/client to seek medical care. 
    • If unable to reschedule due to crisis situation, provide the visitor/client with a mask and isolate them in a room/isolated area. 
    • Employee should wear a mask and maintain 6ft of space between the visitor/client. 
    • Restrict the number of employees entering the isolation area and contact supervisor.
    • When ill visitor/client’s crisis situation has completed, instruct them to seek medical care. 
    • Room should be cleaned thoroughly with antibacterial/viral wipes or solution after each use. Consult with health department for any follow-up procedural advice.

General Infection Prevention Strategies

  1. Stay home if you are sick! Avoid being in contact with others who are sick.
  2. You must wear a face covering in the office. You can remove if you are in your office/cubicle.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or cough/sneeze into your shirt sleeve or bent arm). Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  4. Keep your hands clean (wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds).
  5. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available.