Communicable Diseases Protocol


Updated: March 17, 2020

Personal Responsibilities 

  • It is critical that individuals NOT report to work while they are experiencing illness symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, chills, or fatigue.  
  • Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop these symptoms.  

Social Distancing 

  • Do not host large group meetings. CDC recommends that we avoid gatherings of 10+ people; and when meeting, that we keep a 6-foot distance between people. Perform meetings online or via conference call whenever possible.  
  • To limit the number of people on a jobsite, allow non-essential personnel to work from home when possible. 
  • Discourage hand-shaking and other contact greetings.  

Jobsite / Office Practices 

  • Communicate key CDC recommendations (and post signage where appropriate) to your staff and tradespeople: 
  • How to protect yourself
  • If you are sick
  • COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sick,  cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen. 
  • Supervisors should ask the following questions to all employees prior to entering the jobsite. If they answer “yes” to any, they should be asked to leave the jobsite immediately. Anyone asked to leave should not return to work until 24-hours after they are free from a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication. 
  • Have you, or anyone in your family, been in contact with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19? 
  • Have you, or anyone in your family, been in contact with a person that is in the process of being tested for COVID-19? 
  • Have you, or anyone in your family traveled outside of the U.S. within the last two weeks?
  • Have you been medically directed to self-quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID19? 
  • Are you having trouble breathing or have you had flu-like symptoms within the past 48 hours, including: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, chills, or fatigue? 
  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Do not congregate in lunch areas.
  • Do not share tools.
  • Do not share personal protection equipment (PPE). 
  • Sanitize reusable PPE per manufacturer’s recommendation prior to each use.
  • Ensure used PPE is disposed of properly. 
  • Utilize disposable gloves where appropriate; instruct workers to wash hands after removing gloves. 
  • Disinfect reusable supplies and equipment
  • Identify specific locations and practices for daily trash such as: paper, hand towels, food containers, etc. Instruct workers responsible for trash removal in proper PPE/hand washing practices.
  • Provide routine environmental cleaning (doorknobs, keyboards, counters, and other surfaces).
  • Do not use a common water cooler. Provide individual water bottles or instruct workers to bring their own.
  • Utilize shoe sanitation tubs (non-bleach sanitizer solution) prior to entering/leaving jobsite.
  • Instruct workers to change work clothes prior to arriving home; and to wash clothes in hot water with laundry sanitizer.
  • Don’t stack trades if possible. (The stacking of trades describes project conditions where multiple tradespeople are working simultaneously in a single work area. Stacking creates congestion and crew interference and can also negatively affect productivity.)
  • Utilize disposable hand towels and no-touch trash receptacles.
  • Request additional/increased sanitation (disinfecting) of portable toilets.
  • Avoid cleaning techniques, such as using pressurized air or water sprays that may result in the generation of bioaerosols. 

Managing Sick Employees 

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not return to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [38.0° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. 
  • Separate sick employees. CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately.
  • Communicate your company’s Human Resources practices for managing sick time related to COVID-19. 

Government Resources 

  • OCA has assembled general guidance and links to information from our federal and state agency partners and health organizations. Click Here to Access