COVID-19 Updates

Amerisafe Group is launching this webpage as a resource to occupational health and safety professionals and others for daily updates on matters related to the occupational impacts of COVID-19. We regularly check various occupational health and safety (OSHA, NIOSH, CDC, WHO, FDA, etc.), and various government agency sources for current information so that we can serve our internal and external customers. We also monitor our surrounding states such as PA, OH, WV, IL, NJ, MI. It includes relevant sources, any new Q&A we’ve had and other discussions. Keep current for updates below.

Amerisafe Hugs!

Amerisafe Group partnered with Redstone Senior Care Facility in Greensburg in attempt to safely bring loved ones together during the pandemic through "hugging stations" during the holiday season.

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Amerisafe Group Hugs

Hand Sanitizer Safety

According to a recent article by HealthDay News, hand sanitizer has had a dangerous affect on young children. Though the eye injury is reported as a "common complication," it is a concern for adults and health care workers due to overuse during the pandemic. Eye exposure to sanitizers may lead to blindness from development of corneal ulcers. Read more about the recent study to learn more.

READ MORE

COVID-19 Vaccines: What to Expect

The CDC provided updated information on COVID-19 vaccines. The updates highlight:

  • Common side effects
  • Helpful tips
  • When to call the doctor
  • Scheduling your second shot
About Vaccines
Vaccines

Amerisafe Group's Occupational Health Nurses are able to assist with COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution.

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Pennsylvania

January 25, 2021

  • 807,867 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19
  • 97,411 probable cases
  • 20,664 deaths statewide
  • 3,569,440 patients tested negative to date
  • 8,908,714 total PCR Tests
FULL REPORT
Occupational Health and Safety Services Infectious Disease

Gov. Wolf Updated Mitigation Efforts

“The current mitigation efforts and orders in place are more important than ever. We must unite against COVID and follow these orders.” Governor Wolf reminds us. Pennsylvania continues to work to meet the needs of hospitals and care facilities while performing case investigations and contact tracing. The chart composed by PA Media, outlines the current restrictions on PA businesses, work, schools, child care and congregate settings. For social restrictions, gathering limits are determined by using the maximum occupancy calculator.

PA.GOV

FDA

FDA Authorizes First COVID-19 Test for Self-Testing at Home

The Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit is a molecular (real-time loop mediated amplification reaction) single use test that is intended to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.

The latest COVID-19 updates from the FDA can be viewed here.

FDA
Pandemic Self Test Kit

Pandemic Preparedness & Flu Season

The CDC revised their definition of “close contact,” broadening what should be considered exposures of potential concern.

BLOG
Handwashing Safety
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Pennsylvania has submitted its initial plan, received feedback and is working on revisions now. Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine reported PA is actively preparing to receive, store, distribute and administer the vaccine.

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Construction has the highest COVID-19 rate of nearly any industry

According to Construction Dive, a recent study found that construction workers had the highest positivity rates for asymptomatic cases of any occupation, including healthcare staff, first responders, correctional personnel, elderly care workers, grocery store workers and food service employees.

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Construction Pandemic Safety

COVID-19 on Pace to Become Third Leading Cause of Death in 2020

According to the National Safety Council, the mortality numbers for COVID-19 already have surpassed the total annual number of preventable, accidental deaths in 2018, the most recent year of final data, and we still have four months left of 2020. Following behind heart disease and cancer, COVID-19 will most likely be the third leading cause of death in 2020. The current number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. surpasses 170,000, exceeding the total number of preventable deaths in 2018 which was 167,127.

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Coronavirus Deaths

N95 Respirator Effectiveness: OSHA's FAQ

You may have wondered if the N95 is effective for 95% of particles 0.3 microns in size, wouldn’t a smaller-sized COVID-19 particle pass right through the respirator and into the wearer?

OSHA has issued a statement addressing COVID-19 and N95 effectiveness, and it answers the question. The following was pulled from OSHA’s COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Question: Will an N95 Respirator Protect the Wearer from the Virus that Causes COVID-19?

A: Yes, an N95 respirator is effective in protecting workers from the virus that causes COVID-19. "N95" refers to a class of respirator filter that removes at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles from the air. Some people have mistakenly claimed that since the virus that causes COVID-19 is approximately 0.1 microns in size, wearing an N95 respirator will not protect against such a small virus. That mistaken claim appears to result from a misunderstanding of how respirators work.

OSHA FAQ
Industrial Hygiene Safety Consultants N95 Respirator Use
OSHA Gets Moving on COVID-19 Citations
  • A Lack of Adequate Fines
  • A Lack of Clear Direction for Employers
  • Changing Requirements for Reporting COVID-19 Cases

A majority of September's fines were for healthcare facilities, nursing homes and large indoor processing facilities in the meatpacking industry. A new report with statistics gathered by the New York Times, estimates around 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths can be linked to nursing homes.

Read More

OSHA Continued


Federal OSHA and Its State Counterparts Make COVID-19 Safety Measures Top Priorities. Read More.

OSHA’s latest COVID-19 updates can be viewed here.

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Nursing Facilities for Failing to Fully Implement Respiratory Programs to Protect Employees from Coronavirus. Read More.

  • OSHA released guidance related to COVID-19 for Oil and Gas Industry Workers and Employers. The guidance discusses the exposure risk levels with certain work tasks, engineering controls and administrative controls that can be used to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • OSHA has issued guidance to assist employers reopening non-essential businesses and their employees returning to work during the evolving coronavirus pandemic. The guidance provides information similar to the CDC’s guidance and also answers frequently asked questions by employers.

In a recent News Release, OSHA provided coronavirus-related guidance to help employers develop policies and procedures that address the following issues:

OSHA released frequently asked questions and answers about face coverings, surgical masks and respirators in the workplace. Please remember that each state may have different guidelines in place that are more stringent than OSHA’s guidance.

OSHA released an alert titled: “COVID-19 Guidance on Social Distancing at Work”.

OSHA released a memorandum (Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019) to Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees that will assist Compliance Officers (CSHOs). If, after taking the appropriate actions described in the memorandum, the employer cannot determine whether it is more likely than not that exposure in the workplace played a causal role with respect to a particular case of COVID-19, the employer does not need to record that COVID-19 illness.

OSHA released COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce. The following tips can help reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus:

  • Where work trailers are used, all workers should maintain social distancing while inside the trailers.
  • To the extent tools or equipment must be shared, provide and instruct workers to use alcohol based wipes to clean tools before and after use. When cleaning tools and equipment, workers should consult manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions.
  • Keep in-person meetings (including toolbox talks and safety meetings) as short as possible, limit the number of workers in attendance, and use social distancing practices.
  • Clean and disinfect portable jobsite toilets regularly. Hand sanitizer dispensers should be filled regularly. Frequently-touched items (i.e., door pulls and toilet seats) should be disinfected.

OSHA issued an Alert to Help Keep Manufacturing Workers Safe During Coronavirus Pandemic

Safety measures employers can implement to protect employees working in manufacturing include:

  • Practicing sensible social distancing and maintaining 6 feet between co-workers, where possible;
  • Establishing flexible work hours, (e.g., staggered shifts), if feasible;
  • Training workers on how to properly put on, use/wear, take-off and maintain protective clothing and equipment;
  • Allowing workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent spread of the virus;
  • Monitoring public health communications about coronavirus recommendations for the workplace and ensuring that workers have access to and understand that information;
  • Promoting personal hygiene. If workers do not have access to soap and water for handwashing, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Provide disinfectants and disposable towels workers can use to clean work surfaces; and
  • Encouraging workers to report any safety and health concerns.

OSHA released Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees.

OSHA should investigate complaints, referrals, and employer-reported fatalities and hospitalizations to identify potentially hazardous occupational exposures and to ensure that employers take prompt actions to mitigate hazards and protect employees. This will be conducted in accordance with OSHA’s Field Operations Manual.

Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus

    On April 4, 2020 OSHA released Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. As part of the guidance document, the federal government advised that employers may consider using respirators and filters certified under the following standards of other countries or jurisdictions:

    • Australia: AS/NZS 1716:2012
    • Brazil: ABNT/NBR 13694:1996; ABNT/NBR 13697:1996; and ABNT/NBR 13698:2011
    • People’s Republic of China: GB 2626-2006; and GB 2626-2019
    • European Union: EN 140-1999; EN 143-2000; and EN 149-2001
    • Japan: JMHLW-2000
    • Republic of Korea: KMOEL-2014-46; and KMOEL-2017-64
    • Mexico: NOM-116-2009

    If respiratory protection must be used, and either acceptable National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified alternatives or alternatives that were NIOSH-certified except for having exceeded their manufacturer’s shelf life are not available for use in accordance with OSHA’s April 3, 2020 memorandum, employers may consider using respirators and filters certified under standards of other countries or jurisdictions, as specified in the enforcement guidance. Additional information related to the different certifications can be found here.

    The memo provides information related to extending the use (or reuse) of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) in addition to the use of expired N95 FFRs. Below are a few highlights from the memo:

    • In the event extended use or reuse of N95 FFRs becomes necessary, the same worker is permitted to extend use of or reuse the respirator, as long as the respirator maintains its structural and functional integrity and the filter material is not physically damaged, soiled, or contaminated (e.g., with blood, oil, paint). Employers must address in their written RPPs the circumstances under which a disposable respirator will be considered contaminated and not available for extended use or reuse. (See memo for additional related requirements.)
    • Employers may use only previously NIOSH-certified expired N95 FFRs found here. Workers should be notified that they are using expired N95s. (See memo for additional related requirements.)

    OSHA Fines Increase in Quarter 3

    OSHA officials have not let the COVID-19 pandemic stand in the way of inspecting jobsites. According to Construction Dive, fines of more than $125,000, including three fatalities in Quarter 3.

    READ MORE
    Construction Industry Violations

    Coronavirus Kills 200+ Meat Plant Workers in U.S.

    According to the Food Environmental Reporting Network, 42,534 meatpacking workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in 494 meat plants, and 203 meatpacking workers have died since March. Companies criticized federal regulators for taking so long to give them guidance on how to keep workers safe. The Washington Post reported that OSHA noted that plants failed to provide a workplace "free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees in that employees were working in close proximity to each other and were exposed to."

    READ MORE
    OSHA Fines Coronavirus Meat Packaging Workers

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    CDC now expanding benefits of masks. Read More.

    The latest COVID-19 updates from the CDC can be viewed here.

    CDC COVID DATA TRACKER LINKS:

    The CDC published a Manufacturing Facility Assessment Toolkit for safety professionals to assess their workplace. The facility assessment checklist is intended for use by facility management and/or occupational safety and health professionals to assess a facility’s COVID-19 control plan and determine whether control measures in place align with CDC/OSHA guidance.

    Counterfeit Respirators / Misrepresentation of NIOSH-Approval: How to identify a NIOSH-Approved Respirator

    A couple interesting developments or studies were reported in the last week on respiratory protection COVID-19. The first development is the CDC put on their webpage a discussion and listing of counterfeit respirators (i.e., those that are NOT NIOSH approved, but claim to be). Read More

    Obviously the issue is these respirators cannot be used in situations demanding NIOSH approval, such as when an N95 respirator must be used. Further, if claiming they are NIOSH approved when they are not, these respirators are likely also NOT FDA cleared as occurs with surgical masks. Therefore they could NOT be considered surgical masks either. At best, they could be considered face masks similar to the cloth and others being worn. Should you be on a project/site you are encouraged to review respirators used and if any are included on the CDC list of counterfeit respirators.

    If you have any questions regarding respiratory protection, please contact the Consultation Group

    Mask Benefits
    Pandemic Mask
    Coronavirus Symptoms

    CDC added new signs/symptoms of COVID-19 to the list:

    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea

    The CDC published additional recommendations for manufacturing workers and employers. The CDC provided information on:

    • Creating a COVID-19 assessment and control plan
    • Engineering controls
    • Administrative controls
    • Cloth face coverings
    • Educating and training workers/supervisors
    • Cleaning and disinfecting work surfaces
    • Screening and monitoring workers
    • Managing sick workers
    • Addressing return to work
    • Personal protective equipment

    The CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published additional guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public places, workplaces, businesses, schools and homes.

      PA News Continued
      Governor Tom Wolf

      PA's COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard. VISIT THE DASHBOARD.

      Gov. Wolf: Sec. of Health Signs Expanded Mask-Wearing Order
      With this order, signed under Dr. Levine’s authority under the Disease Prevention and Control Act, masks must be worn whenever anyone leaves home. The order takes effect immediately. Read more.

      Q: What qualifies a pandemic safety officer, and what qualifications must the pandemic safety officer possess?

      A: The pandemic safety officer is the individual designated by the business to provide information about how the employer is complying with all relevant orders and guidance. This individual should be familiar with all relevant orders and guidance and be able to provide workers on site with accurate, reliable guidance in this regard.

      Gov. Wolf provided an update on the state’s reopening process. The Wolf Administration worked with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association to develop guidance on dining in both the yellow and green phases.

      Return to Work Protocols

      As we open America, employers can also expect to establish new health and safety protocols for the workplace such as mandatory health screenings and face coverings—that may remain in place for the foreseeable future. Reopening plans may include multiple mitigation steps, such as limits on occupancy, sanitation and physical distancing requirements, and new posting duties. For criteria, phase guidelines and preparedness tips, visit Opening Up America for additional reference.

      Below are a few items contained in the guidance document that all businesses conducting in-person operations must perform:

      • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas frequently and continue to regular clean all other areas of the buildings.
      • Establish and implement a plan in case the business is exposed to a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19. This includes taking each employee’s temperature before they enter the business and sending home those who have a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or higher. Ensure employees practice social distancing while waiting to have temperatures screened.
      • Prevent large groups from entering or leaving the building by staggering work start and stop times.
      • Conduct meetings and trainings virtually. If a meeting needs to be held in person, limit the number of employees to 10 and maintain a social distance of six feet.

      The Wolf administration issued guidance for the construction industry.

      Construction projects are required to:

      • Maintain proper social distancing
      • Provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high risk transmission areas
      • Identify a “pandemic safety officer” for each project or work site, or, for large scale construction projects, for each contractor at the site.
      • The number of individuals permitted on enclosed portions of a project (non-residential) varies depending on the size of the enclosed site. (There was no additional guidance provided for this.)

      Commercial construction firms should also strongly consider establishing a written safety plan for each work location containing site specific details for the implementation of this guidance to be shared with all employees and implemented and enforced by the pandemic safety officer. Contractors performing work at the direction of the commonwealth, municipalities or school districts should defer to those public entities to determine what projects may continue. Local governments may elect to impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the guidance and in such instances, businesses must adhere to those more stringent requirements.

      Gov. Wolf: Health Secretary Signs Order Providing Worker Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19

      PA issued guidance for worker protection for the critical/essential employers. The order establishes protocols to help employees maintain a social distance during work:

      • Provide masks for employees to wear during their time at the business, and make it a mandatory requirement while at the work site, except to the extent an employee is using break time to eat or drink, in accordance with the guidance from the Department of Health and the CDC. Employers may approve masks obtained or made by employees in accordance with this guidance;
      • Stagger work start and stop times for employees when practical to prevent gatherings of large groups entering or leaving the premises at the same time;
      • Provide sufficient space for employees to have breaks and meals while maintaining a social distance of 6 feet, including limiting the number of employees in common areas and setting up seating to have employees facing forward and not across from each other;
      • Conduct meetings and training virtually. If a meeting must be held in person, limit the meeting to the fewest number of employees possible, not to exceed 10 employees at one time and maintain a social distance of 6 feet.
      • Prohibit non-essential visitors from entering the premises of the business;

      Upon discovery of an exposure to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, businesses are also ordered to implement temperature screenings before employees enter the business prior to the start of work and send any employee home who has an elevated temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Read Full Article Here.

      NEW JERSEY

      Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Lowering Limits on Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings.

      • Effective Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020: Indoor Gatherings limited to 10 people max
      • Effective Monday, December 7, 2020: Outdoor Gatherings limited to 25 people max

      The latest COVID-19 updates for the state of New Jersey can be viewed here.

      Updated Quarantine Advisory Issued for Individuals Traveling to New Jersey. Read More.

      • Gov. Murphy announced Executive Order No. 171 was signed and will extend all Executive Orders issued under the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act for an additional 30 days. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.
      • Gov. Phil Murphy released the multi-stage approach to reopen New Jersey.
      • Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 142, permitting the resumption of non-essential construction. The Order permits non-essential construction projects to resume effective at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18th. All construction projects must abide by the social distancing, safety, and sanitization requirements that are described in detail in the Governor’s Executive Order. A detailed list of requirements can be found on pages five through seven of the order.

      OHIO UPDATES

      CURFEW EXTENSION: Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will be extending the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew until January 2, 2021.

      COVID-19 Update: 21-Day Statewide Curfew

      The latest COVID-19 updates for the state of Ohio can be viewed here.

      The Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health (DOH) issued a Second Order to Extend the Expiration Date of Various Orders. The second order will extend the Director’s Updated and Revised Order for Business Guidance and Social Distancing and will expire when the earlier of the State of Emergency declared by the Governor no longer exists, or the Director of the DOH rescinds or modifies the Order.

      Amy Acton, Ohio Director of the Department of Health, revised the Director’s Order for Business Guidance and Social Distancing. Included in the Order are updated requirements for most businesses operating in Ohio. Below are a few sections of the Order to reference:

      • Section 7 - Facial Coverings (Masks)
      • Section 13 - Sector Specific COVID-19 Information and Checklist for Manufacturing, Distribution, and Construction
      • Section 15 - Sector Specific COVID-19 Information and Checklist for General Office Environment

      Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, rescinded portions of the current COVID-19 Stay Safe Ohio Order. Amy Acton, issued a Stay Safe Ohio Order. Effective 12:01 a.m. on May 4, 2020, manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses may reopen; however, certain actions must be performed. Section 21 of the order contains a list of 17 actions that must be performed in these settings.

      WEST VIRGINIA

      Gov. Justice provides reminder that updated face covering requirement is now in effect & celebrates progress on another vaccine.

      According to West Virginia state press coverage, the new order requires all West Virginians age 9 and older to wear a face covering at all times inside all indoor public places. This differs from the Governor’s initial indoor face covering requirement, which allowed masks to be removed in such places if adequate social distancing could be maintained. Under the new order, that exception no longer exists.

      The new order also requires that all businesses and organizations that invite the public into their facilities must post adequate signage advising guests of the requirement and are also responsible for enforcing the requirement to ensure it is being followed.

      Gov. Justice continues to encourage all West Virginians to be tested. The latest COVID-19 updates for the state of West Virginia can be viewed here.

      Gov. Justice West Virginia first state in nation to begin testing all assisted living facility residents and staff for COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Resources issued information on recommended daily health screenings.

      Recommended questions for screening:

      1. Have you or has anyone in your home had contact within the last 14 days with any person under screening/testing for COVID-19, or with anyone with known or suspected COVID-19?
      2. Do you currently have any of the following symptoms?
      • Fever (100.4°F or higher), or a sense of having a fever.
      • New cough that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
      • New shortness of breath that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
      • New sore throat that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
      • New muscle aches (myalgias) that you cannot attribute to another health condition, or that may have been caused by a specific activity (such as physical exercise).

      If an individual answers YES to any of the screening questions, immediately activate your agency’s protocol for suspected COVID-19. The designated screener should consider:

      A review of the screening results.

      • Recommendations for possible exclusion of the individual from the facility.

      • Recommendations for medical follow-up.

      MICHIGAN UPDATES:

      MDHHS issues guidance to help keep workplaces safe. Read More.
      The latest COVID-19 updates for the state of Michigan can be viewed here.

      The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services revised and extended the epidemic order to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read the update here.

      Michigan Launches Dozens of Free COVID-19 Test Sites Statewide. Learn More.

        Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order on July 29 reinforcing Executive Orders 2020-160 and 2020-161 and allowing for civil fines of up to $1,000 and referral to licensing agencies for violations.

        The Emergency Order requires that everyone must comply with the procedures and restrictions outlined in the following Executive Orders:

        • Executive Order 2020-160, which limits statewide indoor gatherings to 10 people or less and, across most of the state, limits outdoor gatherings to 100. (The outdoor gathering limits will remain at 250 in Regions 6 and 8.) It also orders that bars in every region, including those in Regions 6 and 8, must close for indoor service if they earn more than 70 percent of their gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages
        • Executive Order 2020-161, which orders businesses to develop COVID-19 preparedness and response plans, designate supervisors to implement and monitor those plans, and train employees on workplace infection control and use of personal protective equipment

        The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has toolkits available to help workplaces in Michigan stay safe. As a reminder best practices Michigan employees should follow include:

        • Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water,
        • Limit contact with others by remaining six feet apart,
        • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and tools routinely,
        • Stay home if you or someone in your household is sick,
        • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and
        • Practice self-screenings to check for any abnormal/new symptoms.

        On July 10, 2020, in response to a recent increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order requiring individuals to wear face masks covering their nose and mouth, and businesses to refuse to provide service to customers without face coverings. Read the latest report here.

        Michigan OSHA released additional clarification for the construction and manufacturing industries that applies to (only) the state of Michigan. Below are a few of the requirements for the construction industry and the manufacturing industry (this is not an all-inclusive list). A full list of requirements can be viewed here.

        Businesses or operations in the construction industry must:

        1. Designate a site-specific supervisor to monitor and oversee the implementation of COVID-19 control strategies developed. The supervisor must remain on-site at all times during activities.
        2. Conduct a daily entry screening protocol for workers, contractors, suppliers, and any other individuals entering a worksite, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19, together with, if possible, a temperature screening.
        3. Create dedicated entry point(s) at every worksite, if possible, for daily screening (if applicable).
        4. Provide instructions for the distribution of PPE and designate on-site locations for soiled masks.
        5. Encourage or require the use of work gloves, as appropriate, to prevent skin contact with contaminated surfaces.
        6. Identify choke points and high-risk areas where workers must stand near one another and control their access and use so that social distancing is maintained.
        7. Ensure there are sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite.
        8. Notify contractors (if a subcontractor) or owners (if a contractor) of any confirmed COVID-19 cases among workers at the worksite.

        Manufacturing facilities must:

        1. Conduct a daily entry screening protocol for workers, contractors, suppliers, and any other individuals entering the facility, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19, together with temperature screening as soon as no-touch thermometers can be obtained.
        2. Create dedicated entry point(s) at every facility for daily screening.
        3. Suspend all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.
        4. Train workers on, at a minimum:
          1. Routes by which the virus causing COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person.
          2. Distance that the virus can travel in the air, as well as the time it remains viable in the air and on environmental surfaces.
          3. Symptoms of COVID-19.
          4. Steps the worker must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
          5. Measures that the facility is taking to prevent worker exposure to the virus.
          6. Rules that the worker must follow in order to prevent exposure to and spread of the virus.
          7. The use of personal protective equipment, including the proper steps for putting it on and taking it off.
        5. Reduce congestion in common spaces wherever practicable.
        6. Implement rotational shift schedules where possible.
        7. Adopt protocols to limit the sharing of tools and equipment to the maximum extent possible.
        8. Send potentially exposed individuals home upon identification of a positive case of COVID-19 in the facility.
        9. Encourage workers to self-report to plant leaders as soon as possible after developing symptoms of COVID-19.
        10. Shut areas of the manufacturing facility for cleaning and disinfection, as necessary, if a worker goes home because he or she is displaying symptoms of COVID-

        All Businesses, operations, and government agencies must develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan.

        The construction industry reopens May 7, 2020. The Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity highlighted requirements for employers and provided further guidance on best practices to protect Michigan workers and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Under the Executive Order, construction industry employers are required to:

        • Designate a site supervisor to enforce COVID-19 control strategies.
        • Conduct daily health screenings for workers.
        • Create dedicated entry points, if possible, or issue stickers or other indicators to assure that all workers are screened every day.
        • Identify choke points and high-risk areas (like hallways, hoists and elevators, break areas, water stations, and buses) and controlling them to enable social distancing.
        • Ensure sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite.

        The governor’s order also requires construction industry employers to:

        • Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, consistent with recommendations in OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
        • Keep workers and patrons who are on premises at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible.
        • Increase standards of facility cleaning to limit worker and patron exposure to COVID-19.
        • Provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and face masks as appropriate for the activity being performed.

        ILLINOIS

        The latest COVID-19 updates for the state of Illinois can be viewed here.

        Executive Order 2020-74

        • Practice social distancing. To the extent individuals are using shared spaces when outside their residence, including when outdoors, they must at all times and as much as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person who does not live with them.
        • Wear a face covering in public places or when working. Any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering (a mask or cloth face covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. This requirement applies whether in an indoor space, such as a store, or in a public outdoor space where maintaining a six-foot social distance is not always possible.

        All businesses must:

        • Continue to evaluate which employees are able to work from home, and are encouraged to facilitate remote work from home when possible;
        • Ensure that employees practice social distancing and wear face coverings when social distancing is not always possible;
        • Ensure that all spaces where employees may gather, including locker rooms and lunchrooms, allow for social distancing; and
        • Ensure that all visitors (customers, vendors, etc.) to the workplace can practice social distancing; but if maintaining a six-foot social distance will not be possible at all times, encourage visitors to wear face coverings; and
        • Prominently post the guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Office of the Illinois Attorney General regarding workplace safety during the COVID-19 emergency.

        Requirements for manufacturers. Manufacturers must ensure all employees practice social distancing and must take appropriate additional public health precautions, in accordance with Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) guidance, which include:

        • Provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times;
        • Ensure that all spaces where employees may gather, including locker rooms and lunchrooms, allow for social distancing; and
        • Modify and downsize operations (staggering shifts, reducing line speeds, operating only essential lines, while shutting down non-essential lines) to the extent necessary to allow for social distancing and to provide a safe workplace in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

        Requirements for office buildings. Employers in office buildings must ensure all employees practice social distancing and must take appropriate additional public health precautions, in accordance with DCEO guidance, which may include:

        • Provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times;
        • Consider implementing capacity limits where the physical space does not allow for social distancing;
        • Allow telework where possible; and
        • Develop and prominently post plans and signage to ensure social distancing in shared spaces such as waiting rooms, service counters, and cafeterias.

        World Health Organization

        View WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard for a global perspective on pandemic statistics.

        The WHO has updated information related to how COVID-19 can spread from person to person. The WHO states: “In a small number of case reports and studies, pre-symptomatic transmission has been documented through contact tracing efforts and enhanced investigation of clusters of confirmed cases. This is supported by data suggesting that some people can test positive for COVID-19 from 1-3 days before they develop symptoms. Thus, it is possible that people infected with COVID-19 could transmit the virus before significant symptoms develop. It is important to recognize that pre-symptomatic transmission still requires the virus to be spread via infectious droplets or through touching contaminated surfaces.” The WHO also states: “Preliminary data suggests that people may be more contagious around the time of symptom onset as compared to later on in the disease.” During the WHO Director-General’s briefing, he stated that PPE is one of the most urgent threats to the collective ability to save lives. The WHO has shipped near 2 million items of PPE to 74 countries and is preparing to send additional PPE to 60 other countries.

        Johns Hopkins University of Medicine

        Cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, have surpassed 7.9 million worldwide, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, with more than 2 million cases in the United States. This Coronavirus Resource Center webpage, which was developed by the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, contains COVID-19 related statistical data on a global and national scale. You can click on additional counties within a state to obtain county specific data.

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        Amerisafe Group Nurses Administer Temperature Screenings at Westmoreland County Courthouse

        Photo and Article Credit: Rich Cholodofsky, Staff Writer, Tribune-Review, (04/09/2020).

        According to the Tribune Review, (04/09/2020) "County commissioners last week approved a contract with Hempfield-based Amerisafe Group to conduct safety screenings at the county’s 911 center in an effort to keep staff with coronavirus symptoms out of the building. County officials almost immediately expanded the program to include the courthouse. Officials reported no issues as the screenings started Wednesday morning at the courthouse. About 150 employees, a reduced number caused by furloughs of county staff because of the pandemic, lined up shortly before 8:30 a.m. in front of the building for the temperature tests."

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        Westmoreland Checking for COVID-19 Symptoms at 911 Center

        Commissioners approved a month-long contract with Amerisafe Group to furnish trained employees to conduct screenings at the county’s public safety headquarters on Donohoe Road in Hempfield, where a staff of 52 dispatchers man phones and coordinate first responders. The contract with Amerisafe Group will run through April 30.

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        Occupational Health Services Infectious Disease Temperature Screening

        COVID-19 Response & Testing Services

        SERVICES

        COVID-19 Coronavirus Symptom Screening

        The Amerisafe Group constantly monitors the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on businesses. Like so many of you we have taken steps internally in response to COVID-19 to not only protect our employees, but also the many customers we continue to service during this crisis.

        You may be struggling with managing COVID-19 and its impacts to your business. Amerisafe can help. We offer a variety of services for companies to assist them in protecting their employees and managing COVID-19.

        Need Respirator Fit Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak? For additional assistance, please contact our Occupational Health Group: 844-295-6709

        RESPONSE SERVICES

        Worker Screening

        Fortunately many companies continue to operate, but still need comfort in knowing workers arriving to their shift are not symptomatic or otherwise a concern for spreading COVID-19. Our Medical Providers work with customers to develop effective, CDC-based screening tools, and then we serve as their “gatekeeper” in actually screening workers.

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