|INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONTROL (Human)||Effective Date
The Cleveland APL is committed to providing information about the nature and spread of infectious diseases, including symptoms and signs to watch for, as well as required steps to be taken in the event of an illness or outbreak. The following procedures will be implemented in an effort to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus at the Cleveland APL. Management will regularly communicate mandated procedures as needed.
Preventing the Spread of Infection in the Workplace
The Cleveland APL will ensure a safe and clean workplace, including the regular cleaning and disinfecting of objects and areas that are frequently used, such as bathrooms, break rooms, conference rooms, countertops, door handles and railings. The facilities and shelter operations management teams will be designated to monitor and coordinate events around an infectious disease outbreak, as well as to create work rules that could be implemented to promote safety through infection control.
We ask all employees to cooperate in taking steps to reduce the transmission of infectious disease in the workplace. The best strategy remains following guidance published by the Centers for Disease Control that include frequent hand washing with warm, soapy water for 20-30 seconds; covering your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough; and discarding used tissues in wastebaskets. Employees have easy access to alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout the workplace and in common areas.
Unless otherwise notified, our normal attendance and leave policies will remain in place. Individuals who believe they may face particular challenges reporting to work during an infectious disease outbreak should take steps to develop any necessary contingency plans. For example, unless other provisions have been made by our state or federal government in response to an outbreak, employees should arrange for alternative sources of childcare should schools close and/or speak with supervisors about the potential to work from home temporarily or on an alternative work schedule.
Personal and business travel may be restricted or prohibited by state or federal order. The Cleveland APL will enforce all such orders with its employees. Business travel may be suspended at any time at the APL’s discretion.
Telework requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. While not all positions will be eligible based on job requirements, all requests for temporary telecommuting should be submitted to your supervisor, manager, or director, for consideration.
Staying Home When Ill
Many times, with the best of intentions, employees report to work even though they feel ill [Vacation & Sick Paid Time Off & Accrual, page 55; Self Care Day, page 56; Leave of Absence, page 29].
During an infectious disease outbreak, it is critical that employees do not report to work while they are ill and/or experiencing the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) recommends that people with an infectious illness such as the flu remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Employees who report to work ill will be sent home in accordance with these health guidelines. Paid sick time and other benefits to compensate employees who are unable to work due to illness may be available. Please contact your manager or Human Resources for questions about pay and benefits.
Requests for Medical Information and/or Documentation
If you are out sick or show symptoms of being ill, it may become necessary to request information from you and/or your health care provider. In general, we may request medical information to confirm your need to be absent, to show whether and how an absence relates to the infection, and to know that it is appropriate for you to return to work. As always, we expect and appreciate your cooperation, if and when, medical information is sought.
Confidentiality of Medical Information
Our policy is to treat any medical information as a confidential medical record. In furtherance of this policy, any disclosure of medical information is in limited circumstances with supervisors, managers, first aid and safety personnel, Human Resources and government officials as required by law.
Social Distancing Guidelines for Workplace Infectious Disease Outbreaks
In the event of an infectious disease outbreak, the Cleveland APL may implement these social distancing guidelines to minimize the spread of the disease among the staff.
During the workday, if social distancing measures are implemented by management or to comply with a public health directive, employees may be required to:
- Report their temperatures, answer symptoms questions, and provide any other information per public health directives;
- Always wear mandated PPEs. Wear mask or other face covering when interacting with coworkers, business partners, and customers;
- Avoid meeting people (co-workers, visitors, vendors) face-to-face. Employees are encouraged to use the telephone, online conferencing, e-mail or instant messaging to conduct business as much as possible, even when participants are in the same building;
- If a face-to-face meeting is unavoidable, minimize the meeting time, choose a large meeting room and sit at least six (6) feet from each other if possible; person-to-person contact such as shaking hands, or hugging, must be avoided;
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer;
- Cover coughs or sneezes (into sleeve or elbow, not hands);
- Regularly clean high-touch surfaces;
- Not gather in groups larger than 10 people;
- Avoid unnecessary travel and cancel or postpone nonessential meetings, gatherings, workshops and training sessions;
- Do not congregate in work rooms, employee breakrooms, copier spaces, parking lot, hallways or other areas where people socialize;
- Bring lunch and eat at your desk or away from others (avoid lunchrooms and crowded restaurants);
- Encourage members and others to request information and orders via phone and e-mail in order to minimize person-to-person contact. Have the orders, materials and information ready for fast pick-up or delivery.
- Maintain at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals unless two or more employees must be closer than six feet together to provide necessary or essential care to an animal in a safe and humane manner. When this is true, employees MUST wear appropriate PPE. Examples include performing veterinary or intake procedures that require animal restraint, carrying/lifting a heavy animal, or medical procedures that require more than one person to handle. If you are not sure, ask a supervisor.
Employees might be encouraged to the extent possible to:
- When possible, try to avoid public transportation (walk, cycle, drive a car) or travel early or late to avoid rush-hour crowding on public transportation.
- Avoid recreational or other leisure classes, meetings, activities, etc., where employees might be exposed to an illness.
The Cleveland APL – Infectious Disease Breakout – State of Emergency
The Cleveland APL may be defined as an essential business during a state of emergency. As such, our employees will be expected to comply with all federal, state and local health department orders at all times and should anticipate and comply with adjustments to many shelter and business processes.
Employees who fail to comply with the requirements listed above will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination.
Please see the Employee Handbook for more information on performance management.