Washtenaw County issues order requiring essential businesses to screen workers for coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Washtenaw County issues order requiring essential businesses to screen workers for coronavirus (COVID-19)

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Health Department issued an order Wednesday requiring businesses that are remaining open during the state stay-at-home order to screen workers for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The order will go into effect Thursday at 6 p.m.

It applies to businesses deemed essential that can stay open under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home Executive Order.

MORE: Here’s who’s considered ‘critical infrastructure workers’

Oakland County implemented similar policies this week.

Below are the requirements:

  • Screen everyone. Check employees for fever or other symptoms if they will enter facilities or buildings.
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between people whenever possible.
  • Emphasize frequent and proper hand washing. Make sure sinks are well supplied.
  • Work remotely whenever possible.
  • Do not share space or equipment. If this is not possible, have employees wash their hands before and after using shared equipment. Clean and sanitize equipment between uses.
  • Any employee with cold symptoms or underlying health conditions should stay home or work remotely.

View the full order here. There are separate requirements for childcare centers. See it here.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • 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.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It 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 easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

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