Information for Businesses

Sauk Prairie Healthcare Business Town Hall – COVID-19, August 11, 2020

COVID19 We Not Me

Free Cloth Masks and Yard Signs

Please join in our effort to spread the word about the three things we all can do to significantly slow the spread of Coronavirus: mask, wash, distance. Sauk Prairie Healthcare can provide local businesses (those within 30 miles of Sauk Prairie Healthcare) with free cloth masks and yard signs for your employees or customers while supplies last (note: masks and yard signs have a Sauk Prairie Healthcare logo). To coordinate pick up/delivery of a box of 25 cloth masks or yard signs, please email info@saukprairiehealthcare.org.

Answers to COVID-19 Questions from Businesses

We appreciate all of the questions raised during the recent townhall education event designed to support our area business partners as we fight COVID-19 and the harmful effects it has on the physical, mental, and economic health of our communities. The questions and answers are below with links to the most current information from trusted sources. Please email additional questions to: TownHall@saukprairiehealthcare.org and we will work with our clinical teams to provide you with meaningful information.  

Workforce:
What should I do if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19?

Testing, exposure, isolation…it can all be very confusing. Click here to see the COVID-19 Testing and Isolation Protocol for Non-Healthcare Workers provided by Prairie Clinic to help you understand when testing and isolation are needed and for how long. 

What if employee was exposed but not showing symptoms. Should they still work?
How can I protect employees who cannot socially distance?

Use of appropriate masking is the best strategy to minimize risk and protect your employees who cannot socially distance. Other strategies include installing physical barriers and shield between work stations, flexing work schedules to decrease the number of employees onsite, incorporating teleworking where feasible. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html#Suspected-or-Confirmed-Cases-of-COVID-19-in-the-Workplace

My employee traveled to a coronavirus hot zone but has no known exposure. Should we do anything?

Employees can be exposed to COVID-19 in multiple areas. A good tactic is to educate employees on the signs and symptoms and request they closely monitor and report if they are experiencing any. Also, ensure you have a sick policy that supports employees and encourages them to stay home if ill. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html.

When can employees stop teleworking?

Our region remains in phase II. The recommendation is to keep employees teleworking if possible to decrease the risk of transmission.

What can I do to educate employees on ways to reduce risk of COVID-19 at work?

The CDC has good resources to place in the workplace to educate employee on strategies to remain safe. Here is the link to updated information:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html.

What type of testing should I conduct on my employees?

The CDC does not recommend Antibody testing. The guidance on when employee should be tested is updated on a frequent basis. Here is a link to the latest guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/testing-non-healthcare-workplaces.html.

What are best practices to keep employee safe when interacting with customers?

Following the three proven measures of masking, socially distancing, and frequently washing hands is key. Additional infection prevention measures include, installing a barrier (plexiglass shield) or other comparable barrier, and frequent disinfecting of surfaces.

How can I protect employees at a higher risk?

Have a conversation with employees who may be at high risk. Identify strategies that would minimize their risk including working in a separate space, teleworking, assigning to areas that have decreased risk of transmission. Here is link to CDC's guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/php/CDC-Activities-Initiatives-for-COVID-19-Response.pdf?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fhigh-risk-workers.html#page=50.

Precautions and infection prevention strategies:
Is a face shield alone enough protection from COVID-19?

It is recommended to wear a face shield and mask.

Is screening necessary?

Each business should assess the need and ability to screen customers and visitors. 

What is the best type of mask for my employees to wear?

Each business needs to assess the level of protection their employees need. This varies from a multi-ply cloth mask to an N95 respirator.

How do I set occupancy limits?

The CDC and Wisconsin DHS define occupancy limits. These are updated based on prevalence in the defined area.

What is the recommendation for hand washing?

Hand washing should be frequent. How many times a day? This varies by setting and activity. 

They say surgical masks (N95) is the most effective protection. Should my employees wear the N95?

N95 masks are typically reserved for healthcare professionals as there is a nation-wide shortage of these types of masks. An N95 comes in several sizes and needs to be fitted to ensure proper seal and protection. This fitting must be conducted by an individual who is certified to perform the test. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/conserving-respirator-supply.html.

How long does the virus stay in the air?

Studies have determined the length of time COVID-19 remains airborne is dependent on many variables including temperature, humidity, and UV index. Here is a link to a user friendly calculator: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/sars-airborne-calculator.

How long does the virus stay on surfaces and what is the best way to clean surfaces?

The CDC provides updated resources, including approved disinfectants to properly clean workplaces and businesses: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/pdf/Reopening_America_Guidance.pdf.