The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidance for essential workers, including those in trucking, to allow them to continue work following potential exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus – provided they remain asymptomatic and take additional precautions to protect themselves and the community.
A potential exposure means having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, including the 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.
The guidance covers "critical infrastructure workers," as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare workers, law enforcement, transportation and logistics workers, etc.
According to the CDC, workers who have potentially been exposed should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:
- Pre-screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
- Regular monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
- Wear a mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
- Social distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
- Disinfect and clean workspaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.
If the employee becomes sick during the day, CDC recommend they should be sent home immediately and the surfaces in their workspace cleaned and disinfected. Information on persons who had contact with the employee two days prior to symptoms should also be compiled.
Employers should implement the recommendations in the Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Additional information about identifying critical infrastructure during COVID-19 can be found on the DHS CISA website.