BOSTON – “If you have an employee that tests positive for the coronavirus, you are required to report this to and cooperate with your local board of health,” reminded Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy in a letter to the state’s employers.
“Furthermore, the participation of your employees in the COVID-19 Community Tracing program is essential. The ability of contact tracers to act quickly and stop the spread depends on prompt disclosure,” said Kennealy.
“By supporting employees during quarantine or isolation and cooperating with contact tracers, you can continue to do your part to flatten the curve in Massachusetts. The business community has met the challenge posed by COVID-19 in so many ways. We are grateful for your continued efforts and partnership,” said Kennealy, who co-chair’s the state’s re-opening advisory board with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
“We find ourselves in the anticipated second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. From a public health perspective, we must remain vigilant, while also showing compassion. With community spread and transmission risk on the rise, it is critical that employers continue to protect and support your employees and customers. This means reminding your workers about their obligation to report potential exposure to the virus or a positive test and their need to quarantine or isolate in accordance with Department of Public Health guidelines. We are asking all employers to continue to accommodate employees who need to isolate or quarantine,” wrote the State’s Economic Development Secretary.
The State said employers can follow the below steps to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Review the Department of Public Health’s information and guidance for persons in quarantine or isolation, and share it with your employees.
- Remind all employees to report instances of possible exposure and to immediately quarantine until either they receive a negative test or they self-isolate for 14 days, in accordance with the DPH guidance.
- Ensure employees who have faced possible exposure do not feel pressured to report to the workplace, whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms. Reassuring employees of their job security will help prevent virus transmission between coworkers.
- Monitor use of break rooms and warn employees of risks associated with car pooling. These settings have both been identified as hot spots for COVID-19 infections.
“As we find ourselves at the beginning of the holiday season, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your commitment to our community, your employees, and your customers. We have asked a lot of our employers this year and the response has been overwhelming. Our collective ability to adapt and implement safety protocols in the face of COVID-19 has been remarkable. Main Street retailers and restaurants have been particularly resilient despite a challenging environment. Thank you for your continued support and adherence to safety measures as the cold weather arrives<‘ wrote Kennealy.