What to do if COVID-19 Cases are Detected at the Workplace?

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    As Covid-19 cases grow in the country, work centers increasingly must attend to contagions in the work force. To avoid an outbreak, this is what the Ministry of Health’s guidelines call for:

    In the first place, the guidelines asks the work centers (public and private) to guarantee certain basic conditions, that would reduce the chances of Covid-19 infections.

    These conditions are, for example, distancing (1.8 meters), disinfecting objects that are touched regularly, teleworking as much as possible and washing hands regularly.

    What to do with suspicious cases?

    In case of presenting symptoms of Covid-19, this must be reported to the supervisor and proceed to seek medical attention. “Every worker is obliged to report to their immediate superior if it was declared a probable or confirmed case, the person must contact 1322 and follow the procedure indicated there”, adds the guideline.

    After this, “between the worker and the boss they must define whether to submit (or continue as the case may be) in telework or vacation mode, in such a way that they do not return to the workplace until they are completely recovered”.

    What if someone had contact with a Covid-19 work partner?

    People who had a contact with another person diagnosed as “suspicious, probable or confirmed” by Covid-19 must also report it to management. From there, there are two possibilities.

    If the worker reports a contact outside the workplace, their supervisor must ensure that the person contacts 1322, where they will receive instructions on how to proceed.

    On the other hand, if the worker reports the suspicious contact within the workplace, “management will provide the affected worker with a respiratory mask” and will locate him/her in an isolated place. Then, they will proceed to call 1322 and follow the instructions.

    What if there is a confirmed case?

    In the event of being diagnosed as a “probable or confirmed case”, all workers must notify their immediate superior, according to the document. Even if a worker is confirmed with Covid-19, “no medication should be supplied to the worker, the health center will be the one in charge of providing the corresponding medicl indications.”

    Should the work place be disinfected if there is a positive case?

    Yes, the Ministry of Health asks to carry out both cleaning and disinfection of the establishment. Cleaning processes must always precede disinfection, since they facilitate the action of germicides.

    According to the guideline, the virus can be transmitted both through contaminated surfaces and through the air, so the use of personal protective equipment is important.

    “The floor must be cleaned to remove dirt and then proceed to disinfection with a floor cleaner moistened with a sodium hypochlorite solution at a concentration of at least 15 parts of chlorine and 100 parts of water. The same action will be repeated daily”, indicates the document

    Frequently touched surfaces, such as doors, computers, and desks, should also be cleaned daily. Bathrooms and toilets should be disinfected daily with a disinfectant containing chlorine at least 1:100 dilution prepared the same day it is to be used.”

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