A Path to a Return to Normal

As we continue to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am regularly impressed by displays of our clients’ dedication to their members’ health and safety. Return-to-work, or continue-to-work, can pose challenges. But with the right precautions in place, organizations can build their path to normal.

The CDC offers a number of recommendations for workplaces to prevent and reduce transmission among workers, including:

  • Educate employees about how to protect themselves at home, at work, and when commuting
    to work, and inform them of any new workplace policies or procedures.
  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home and notify their supervisor if sick or have been
    exposed to someone who is sick.
  • Consider conducting private, daily, in-person or virtual health checks for symptoms or a
    temperature screening before employees enter a facility. Conduct them safely, respectfully,
    and in accordance with social distance guidelines, local and State public health guidelines, and
    guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Identify where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work and limit the spread
    of the virus by looking at an appropriate combination of engineering controls, regular cleaning
    and disinfection, workplace administrative policies, face coverings, and personal protective equipment.
  • Separate sick employees who appear to have symptoms when they arrive to work or become sick during the day from others and send them home or to a healthcare provider safely.
  • Take action to disinfect and close of any areas used by an employee suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 and inform impacted employees about their possible exposure, but maintain employee confidentiality.

Check the CDC for more information on their recommendations. You can also refer to OSHA which has prepared detailed guidance for employers with steps to take according to the exposure risk.

As another sign of the region reopening, we are now seeing hospital claim volume picking back up as hospitals resume normal operations and reinstate elective surgeries in regions cleared to do so by the Department of Health. In the New York metro area, Westchester, Rockland, Suffolk, and Nassau County hospitals, in addition to many counties in upstate New York, have restarted elective procedures and ambulatory care this month, after these counties met the State’s criteria. New Jersey hospitals will be allowed to resume elective surgeries and invasive procedures on May 26. In all cases, procedures will resume according to policies issued by each individual State.