Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources For Employers

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

If an employee contracts COVID-19, Is it a recordable case?

OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904 mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:

  • 1) The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information) on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19)
  • 2) The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5
  • 3) The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7

Visit OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements page

What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Is one group of people or country responsible for COVID-19?

No. People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

  • – Fever
  • – Cough
  • – Shortness of breath

*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How severe is illness associated with COVID-19?

Illness has ranged from mild to severe. Most people have recovered without needing medical
treatment. However, hospitalizations and deaths have occurred.

Who is at higher risk for COVID-19 complications?

Early information shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • – Older adults
  • – People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • — Heart disease
    • — Diabetes
    • — Lung disease

Follow the CDC recommendations for employers:

  • – Employer Guidance: PREPARE NOW
  • – Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene by all employees.
  • – Perform routine environmental cleaning.
  • – Update your absenteeism policy and communicate the requirements.
  • – Update your work from home policy and communicate the requirements.

Planning Considerations

  • – Prepare for increased absenteeism
  • – Cross-train employees to handle other functions
  • – Encourage employees to develop contingency plans for child care in the event there are long term closures of schools and daycare centers

Prepare for business interruption

  • – Identify alternative suppliers
  • – Prioritize certain customers
  • – Prepare to shut down certain functions

Additional Resources