COVID-19 Employer Guidance
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has resources available to help employees determine when they should be excused from work. UnityPoint Health - Finley Occupational Health provides telephonic return to work visits to reduce exposure and ensure an employee can safely return to work. If approved by the employer, the number to call to make an appointment is (563) 585-1290.
All employees should be screened for fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath prior to entering the workplace and at the end of each shift. According to the IDPH screening algorithm, anyone who presents with a fever or respiratory symptoms must be off work until:
- Fever free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND
- All other symptoms have improved AND
- At least seven (7) days have passed since symptoms were first developed
Isolation criteria must be followed for all employees with symptoms, even if an employee tests negative for COVID-19.
IDPH recommends coordinating with your local medical provider to identify ways to test employees with COVID-19 symptoms.
If an employee has been off of work due to COVID-19 related symptoms, exposure or travel, a return to work visit should be completed before the employee returns to the workplace. Finley Occupational Health offers telephonic return to work visits to reduce exposure and ensure an employee can safely return to work.
- Following IDPH guidelines, Finley Occupational Health will review the reasons for being excused from work, assess symptoms (if any) and provide guidance for next steps. If approved by the employer, please have employees call (563) 585-1290 for a telephonic return to work visit.
High Risk Employees
The IDPH recommends that employers consider excusing high-risk employees from work if/when an outbreak occurs. High risk employees include:
- People age 65 years and older
- People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, including: chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised due to cancer treatment, smoking, AIDS or prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune-weakening medications, obesity (BMI>40), diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, liver disease.
IDPH recommends for social distancing in the workplace, including:
- Staggering shifts to reduce the number of employees on the clock at a given time
- Spacing break times to limit employee interactions
- Reviewing procedures to identify ways to limit physical staff interactions
There are also ways employers can emphasize proper hand hygiene and respiratory protocols among employees:
- Provide employees with appropriate face masks or allow them to bring in and wear personal cloth masks
- Allow frequent hand washing opportunities or provide hand sanitizer at all stations
Finley Occupational Health is located at 1665 Embassy West Drive, Dubuque, IA 52001 and can be reached by phone at (563) 585-1290.