As businesses reopen, it is important for owners to be up to date with the requirements for testing and contact tracing in Sacramento as set by the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health (Cal/OSHA).
What are the business requirements for testing and contact tracing in Sacramento?
As of December 2020, Cal/OSHA Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standards require businesses to:
Create a Covid-19 Prevention Program through the following steps:
- Evaluate workplace and operational hazards where transmission is most likely to occur
- Make changes in policies, procedures, and the workplace where possible to prevent the spread of the virus (ie, social distancing, staggered work schedules, and installing barriers at high contact points)
- Provide and enforce the use of face masks and other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job
Ensure all employees are properly educated about Covid-19, which should include:
- How Covid-19 is spread
- Infection prevention techniques
- Employee rights and eligibility for benefits related to Covid-19
Notify the proper authorities of positive cases as required, including:
- Notifying the local health department within 48 hours if three (3) or more employees test positive
- Reporting all employee cases requiring inpatient hospitalization or resulting in death to the nearest Cal/OSHA office
- Ensuring medical information remains confidential when providing records to employees, their authorized representatives, or as required by law
Employers are also required to provide free Covid-19 testing to any employee exposed in the workplace.
Challenges in case reporting
Some business owners are frustrated by these new rules, especially given the discrepancies in reporting that surround workplace Covid-19 infections and deaths. Much of this problem stems from staffing issues at Cal/OSHA predating the pandemic, resulting in a backlog in reviewing data submitted by businesses and updating public records to reflect them.
Despite these issues, Covid-19 contact tracing in Sacramento and elsewhere in California is necessary to identify vulnerabilities within the workplace so they can be corrected and outbreaks contained. Hiring efforts by Cal/OSHA mean a new wave of inspectors are about to begin working, which should help the agencies’ overall effort in the fight against the pandemic.
The importance of testing in the workplace
Regularly testing employees for Covid-19 is fast becoming a standard employer practice. Regular testing is effective because it identifies asymptomatic people who are infected, allowing businesses to have them self-isolate before they can cause an outbreak among staff or guests.
While some employers choose to do this using DIY testing kits available from retailers, many businesses have opted to utilize onsite medical service providers like Drip Hydration. These services send nurses to work sites to administer Covid-19 tests on employees. In addition to testing, Drip Hydration offers businesses assistance and guidance in complying with the rules set by regulatory agencies when creating employee policies around testing.
Onsite testing is especially valuable for certain types of businesses
Ongoing Covid-19 testing is important regardless of the type of business – unless, of course, all employees are working from home.
One industry with a challenging comeback ahead is event planning. As regulations loosen and venues are allowed to reopen, event planners must balance their eagerness to resume operations with unprecedented measures to keep vendors, workers, and guests safe.
Event planners have been looking for ways to make experiences even safer, including using rapid DIY test kits to test guests before granting them entry. The first rapid DIY testing kits FDA authorized for emergency use by the general public are expected on shelves in coming weeks.
These tests deliver results in approximately 15 minutes and are expected to cost $30 per kit when shelves are fully stocked. The rapid tests being considered by some event planners are still in approval stages, but are able to produce results in 10 minutes. Currently, the easiest way to access rapid tests is through healthcare professionals.
Drip Hydration Can Help You Reopen To Stay Open
If you are a Sacramento business owner looking for help in creating your Covid-19 Prevention Program, contact Drip Hydration for more information on our consultation and testing services. Our experts will work with you to create a plan tailored to help your business succeed. Our nurses will come to your workplace with the materials necessary to test all your employees the same day.
If someone tests positive, we can offer advice on the next steps necessary to help you continue to operate while preventing a workplace outbreak. Your employees and patrons can feel confident in your plans designed with the guidance of medical professionals.
Consult with us today!