New interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person With Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 permits essential staff to continue working as long as they remain asymptomatic, even if they’ve been exposed to a positive COVID-19 patient or symptomatic coworker. However, we continue to recommend following our guidelines for high-risk exposure to protect your workforce:
- For members who wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), any exposure with a positive COVID-19 individual is considered low risk and they can continue to work.
- For members who do not wear appropriate PPE, any close contact exposure with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 individual is considered a high-risk exposure and should be placed in quarantine for the recommended 14-day period.
We are also advising all members to wear masks while on duty, including at the fire station, to reduce high-risk exposures from coworkers who may unknowingly be positive for COVID-19. By wearing masks, we reduce potential high-risk exposures to low-risk exposures, preventing mass quarantines.
Refer to our COVID-19 Best Practices: Social Distancing Guidelines, which also include social distancing and disinfecting and cleaning the station and apparatus during non-response work-related activities.
Stay updated on COVID-19 resources and guidance for IAFF members at www.iaff.org/coronavirus.