Employee Management

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All employees are potentially exposed due to active community transmission

  • See CDC guidance on universal source control
  • All staff should wear a surgical facemask at all times while they are in the facility. 
    • Cloth face coverings are not sufficient for staff as they do not protect the wearer against exposure to splashes and sprays of infectious material from others. 
  • Develop a system to regularly monitor all employees for fever and symptoms consistent with COVID- 19. (For example, employees could be expected to monitor their temperature and any symptoms twice a day or before working a shift.) 
  • Reinforce that employees should not report to work when ill. 
  • Reinforce adherence to standard infection prevention and control measures including hand hygiene and selection and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Have HCP demonstrate competency with putting on and removing PPE and monitor adherence by observing resident care activities. 
  • All staff should be reminded to maintain at least 6 feet apart when in break rooms or common areas, to the extent possible. 
  • Identify dedicated employees to care for COVID-19 residents and provide infection control training. 
  • Guidance on implementing recommended infection prevention practices is available in CDC’s free online course — The Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training — which includes resources and checklists for facilities and employees to use.

Educate Employees

  • Educate all staff on the prevention of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.
  • Ensure education includes basic hand washing, respiratory hygiene, and implementation of Standard, Contact, and Droplet precautions with eye protection.
  • Ensure ​training​ and adherence to proper ​donning and doffing of PPE.
  • Consider a dedicated donning/doffing observer to monitor, protect, and guide health care providers through the protocols of donning and doffing PPE.
  • Instruct staff to practice physical distancing (maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others) when in break rooms or common areas.
  • Governor’s Executive Order 2020-36 “promotes physical distancing” and states that “all individuals, when in public areas should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings where appropriate physical distancing is not practical should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed and CDC guidelines are followed.” This applies to areas off-site and away from long-term care or assisted living facilities.
  • Governor’s Executive Order 2020-36 also states that “members of households with vulnerable individuals should take precautions to protect individuals and should be aware that by returning to work or being out in public, they could carry the virus back home.”

If employees develop any symptoms consistent with COVID-19* they must

  • Cease contact with residents. 
  • Notify their supervisor or occupational health services prior to leaving work. 
  • Employees with suspected COVID-19 should be prioritized for testing

Return to Work Criteria

Aligned with ADHS COVID-19 Exposure Guidance for Providers and Healthcare Workers (Accessed May 14, 2020): 
  • If a staff member is symptomatic* and awaiting test results for COVID-19:
  • If a staff member is symptomatic* and tested positive for COVID-19 by PCR or serology**:
  • If a staff member is symptomatic* and tested negative for COVID-19 by PCR or serology**:
  • If a staff member is symptomatic* and has not been tested for COVID-19 by PCR or serology**:
  • If a staff member is asymptomatic and awaiting test results for COVID-19:
  • If a staff member is asymptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 by PCR:
  • If a staff member is asymptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 by serology:
  • If a staff member is asymptomatic and tested negative for COVID-19 by PCR or serology:
  • If a staff member has other non-compatible symptoms and has not been tested for COVID-19:
** People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: 
  • Fever or chills 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Headache 
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
This list does not include all possible symptoms. Public Health will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. 
** If a person is tested by PCR/antigen testing and serology while they are symptomatic, use 
PCR/antigen test results to determine isolation.

Exception for critical staffing needs

From ADHS “Appendix: Long-term Care Facility Post-testing Public Health Recommendations” (Accessed May 21, 2020)
  • Asymptomatic staff may potentially be able to work with only СOVID-19 positive patients in a setting of critical staffing, but facilities must ensure the following conditions exist prior to letting these staff work:
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3950 S. Country Club Road
Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714

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