Recommendations for employers regarding COVID-19

Aspirus recognizes that many employers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the workplace. This has led to some employers requiring their employees to be screened and/or tested for the virus before they can return to work.

Health care providers do not have the capacity, especially during the time of a national health crisis, to clear many individuals of an infection such as COVID-19. This requirement by employers puts a strain on the medical community and hinders the ability to provide life-saving care to those who need it most.

Aspirus asks that employers please follow these recommended strategies:

  • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [38.0° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
  • Do not require a health care provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work. Health care provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.

The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt across all communities and industries. Collaboration is needed by all to keep our communities healthy and prevent the spread of infection.