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. Allen 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 is (319) 859-3886.
All employees should be screened for fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath prior to entry into 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
- All other symptoms have improved
- At least seven (7) days have passed since symptoms first develped
Isolation criteria must be followed for all employees with symptoms even if employee test negative for COVID-19.
IDPH recommends coordinating with your local medical provider to identify ways to test employees with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Designated respiratory illness clinics have opened in Waterloo at United Medical Park, located at 1731 W Ridgeway Ave., and our North Crossing site, located at 2134 Logan Ave. Anyone experiencing respiratory symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath should call (319) 833-5888 for additional guidance.
If an employee has been off 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. Allen Occupational Health offers telephonic return to work visits to reduce exposure and ensure an employee can safely return to work.
- Following IDPH guidelines, Allen 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 (319) 859-3886 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)
- Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- Liver disease
IDPH recommendations for social distancing in the workplace include:
- Staggering shifts to reduce 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