Our current President, Ernie Mellor, had a call with Dr. Alisa Haushalter, Directory of the Shelby County Health Department this week. Here is a summary of their conversation and some talking points. Feel free to share this with employees and the public.
- Workplaces are getting lax between co-workers, meaning NOT mask-wearing when they are just with co-workers. When an employee is with a customer, most are complying well with mask-wearing.
- The reason it is important to wear masks even with just coworkers: remember 1 in 5 positive COVID cases are asymptomatic (link to study). So you don’t know if your coworker is sick!
- Current Health Department concerns: employees are coming to work with flu, cold, allergy symptoms for 2 or 3 days. On the 3rd or 4th day they are feeling bad enough to get tested and test positive for COVID. (They have spread the virus for 3 days at that point.)
- The Health Department is really asking employers to pay attention to employees, ask the health questions, get the temperatures. Send them home when they need to go home or have symptoms. Take this seriously!
- Increasing transmissions are coming from places where masks are not worn or worn on a limited basis. Restaurants, Bars & Gyms. The Health Department does not intend nor wants to cut back on our work hours or worse, more limited seating restrictions. However, they still have the right to do so if they feel they need to.
- The Health Department is pleading to the public to wear their masks as much as possible, to police themselves, to keep the distance. They are asking the public to go to restaurants at less busy times, such as 11:00 am or earlier or after 1:00 for lunch. They are asking folks to put masks on between bites.
- Pool Testing: They are believers in pool testing. However, per Dr. Haushalter, it is imperative that all employees test. She is recommending testing once per week. Once every 2 weeks is not enough for the mathematics of finding a positive case and getting that person quarantined.
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