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Virginia First State to Adopt COVID-19 Workplace Standards

  • Published
  • 28 July 2020
  • Category
  • News

Virginia is the first state to adopt an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Effective July 27, Virginia-based employers are required to:

  • Assess the workplace and job tasks for potential exposure hazards.
  • Educate employees about self-monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Implement policies and procedures for employees to report COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Prohibit employees with known or suspected infection to report to work, remain at work or visit a client location until cleared for return; telework is allowed, as feasible. Similar rules apply to subcontractors.
  • Ensure sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance.
  • Establish a system to receive reports of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests and notify employees who may have been exposed within 24 hours of contact (while protecting the identity of the infected person), other employers whose employees may have been exposed, and the building or facility owner responsible for sanitizing the premises.
  • Notify the Virginia Department of Health within 24 hours of discovering a positive COVID-19 case.
  • Notify the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry within 24 hours of the discovery of three or more employees testing positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period.
  • Implement policies and procedures for employees to return to work after illness using either a symptom-based or test-based strategy. Under the rules, employers may not use antibody (serologic) testing to make decisions about returning employees to work after illness.
  • Facilitate employee access to their own disease-related exposure and medical records.
  • Ensure that employees observe social distancing protocols. When social distancing is not feasible, appropriate respirators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used.

In addition, employers with workplaces that have medium or high exposure risk must implement a written preparedness response plan and provide related training by Aug. 26, 2020.

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