As workplaces consider a gradual scale up of activities toward pre–COVID-19 operating practices, employers should keep in mind that some workers are at a higher risk than others for severe illness from the virus.
These workers include individuals over age 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. These underlying conditions include but are not limited to chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, hypertension, severe heart conditions, weakened immunity, severe obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and chronic kidney disease that requires dialysis.
Employers who are now in the process of reopening face special challenges with these workers. They should take particular care to reduce workers’ risk of exposure to COVID-19 while still complying with relevant Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) regulations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines to help direct businesses during this phase of reopening.
Households Living in Close Quarters
The CDC has also developed guidelines for people living in close quarters, such as those who share a small apartment or who live in the same household with large or extended families. These recommendations can help families reduce the risk of infection.
If your household includes one or more vulnerable individuals—older adults (65 and older) and people of any age with serious underlying conditions—who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, then all family members should act as if they themselves are at higher risk. Remember that some people can have the virus without exhibiting symptoms.
Following CDC guidelines can help mitigate and control the rate of infections and protect our families and businesses.