On Tuesday, April 7, Governor Ned Lamont issued Executive Order 7V requiring all “essential” employers to take additional precautions to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between and among employees, customers, and other persons such as delivery drivers, maintenance people or others who may enter the workplace. Executive Order 7V is available here.
As ordered by the Governor, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) issued legally binding statewide rules articulating these additional measures. These rules are effective immediately. In general, the additional precautions require employers to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being followed, that workplaces are clean and safe, so-called “transmission points” are eliminated and that contact is limited between and among employees and visitors.
Examples of the social distancing rules include eliminating in-person meetings, discouraging employee carpooling, staggering and/or consolidating shifts, restricting access to and/or closing break rooms and cafeterias. With respect to transmission points, the DECD requires, among other things, that employers reduce common touch points, frequently clean such touch points and surfaces or provide employees with disposable wipes to do so and restrict, if possible, employees from using each other’s phones, desks, offices or other work tools and equipment. The full list of mandatory rules is available here. We encourage all essential employers to review the full list.
Yesterday, April 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued its “Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19.” The CDC defines Critical Infrastructure Workers to include, among others, law enforcement, 911 call center employees, custodial staff, and workers in food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, IT, transportation, energy and government facilities. If these workers have had an exposure but remain asymptomatic, the CDC asks employers to “pre-screen” the individuals by taking their temperature and assessing symptoms, ideally before entering the facility, have them self-monitor during their shift, wear a mask, and practice social distancing as work duties permit. A copy of the full interim guidance is available here.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.
D. Charles Stohler
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Giovanna T. Weller
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