Covid-19 Procedures & Guidelines
Potent takes measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. We encourage all employees to follow the recommended guidelines to sustain a healthy and safe workplace.
Company business decisions will be based on both the level of disease transmission in the community and the company’s ability to protect the safety and health of our employees and customers.
Our commitment is to:
- prevent and reduce transmission among employees,
- maintain healthy business operations, and
- maintain a healthy work environment
Workplace guidance and this Policy are subject to change with the introduction of additional governmental guidelines, and updates will be shared as they are received.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can cause illness ranging from mild to severe and, in some cases, can be fatal. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some people infected with the virus have reported experiencing other non-respiratory symptoms. Other people, referred to as asymptomatic cases, have experienced no symptoms at all.
According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
How the Disease May be Spread
- between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (i.e., experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath)
Recommendations To Reduce The Spread of Covid19
- Please practice social distancing by avoiding groups and close proximity to others, by maintaining at least 6 feet from others when possible.
- Employees must wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Key times for washing hands include:
- Before and after work shifts and work breaks
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the restroom
- Before eating or preparing food
- After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
- Employees are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering, when unable to properly social distance, or when in company facilities in the presence of clients and coworkers.
- CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering as a measure to contain the wearer’s respiratory droplets and help protect their co-workers and members of the general public.
- Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE. They may prevent workers, including those who don’t know they have the virus, from spreading it to others but may not protect the wearers from exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Employees must self-monitor for symptoms, if they suspect possible exposure.
- Employees should stay home if they are sick, except to get medical care.
- Employees must inform their supervisor if they have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
- Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. Clean and disinfect them before and after use.
Employee Actions & Protocols
What To Do if You Are -or- May Be Sick:
- Stay Home. If you have cold symptoms, such as cough/sneezing/fever, or feel poorly, request sick leave or work from home.
- Quarantine. Potentially exposed employees should remain home for 14 days, and telework if possible.
- Get Tested. The company recommends that employees get tested if they believe they have contracted, or have been exposed to the virus.
- Get Medical clearance prior to returning to work. Self-monitoring for symptoms is recommended if medical care is not available. You may not return until you are asymptomatic.
Sick leave arrangements:
- If you have cold symptoms, such as cough/sneezing/fever, or feel poorly, request sick leave or work from home.
- If you have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, you can return to the office only after you’ve fully recovered, with a doctor’s note confirming your recovery.
Work from home requests:
- If you are feeling ill, but you are able to work, you can request to work from home.
- If you have recently returned from areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases (based on CDC announcements), we’ll ask you to work from home for 14 calendar days, and return to the office only if you are fully asymptomatic. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.
- If you’ve been in close contact with someone infected by COVID-19, with high chances of being infected yourself, request to work from home. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.
- If you’re a parent and you have to stay at home with your children, request to work from home. Follow up with your manager or departmental leader to make arrangements and set expectations.
- If you need to provide care to a family member infected by COVID-19, request to work from home. You’ll only be permitted to return to the office 14 calendar days after your family member has fully recovered, provided that you’re asymptomatic or you have a doctor’s note confirming you don’t have the virus. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.
- All work trips and events – both domestic and international – will be cancelled/postponed until further notice.
- In-person meetings should be done virtually where possible, especially with non-company parties (e.g. candidate interviews and partners).
- If you normally commute to the office by public transportation and do not have other alternatives, you can request to work from home as a precaution.
- If you are planning to travel voluntarily to a high-risk country with increased COVID-19 cases, we’ll ask you to work from home for 14 calendar days. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.
Employer/Workplace Protocols For (Suspected) Sick Employees
Employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the work day will immediately be separated from other employees, customers and visitors, and sent home.
In most cases, the company will not need to shut down our facilities. If it has been less than 7 days since a sick employee has been in the facility, we recommend closing off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person:
- Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
- During this waiting period, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in these areas.
If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.
CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations:
- Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them.
- To disinfect surfaces, use products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2external icon, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
- Always wear gloves and gowns appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting.
- You may need to wear additional PPE depending on the setting and disinfectant product you are using. For each product you use, consult and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
Determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and may need to take additional precautions:
- Inform employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the ADA and HIPPA guidelines.
- Most workplaces should follow the Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure and instruct potentially exposed employees to stay home for 14 days, telework if possible, and self-monitor for symptoms.
- Critical infrastructure external icon workplaces should follow the guidance on Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. Employers in critical infrastructure also have an obligation to manage potentially exposed workers’ return to work in ways that best protect the health of those workers, their co-workers, and the general public.