+ Should we wear face masks?
This answer has been updated.
The CDC previously recommended masks only for people who are sick or taking care of sick people. Due to new evidence that a significant portion of people with coronavirus could have no symptoms at all but still spread the virus, the CDC now recommends that people wear cloth face masks in public settings where 6 feet of social distancing could be difficult to maintain, such as in grocery stores and pharmacies.
Please visit the CDC website for additional information:
+ Should farm labor operations limit their crew sizes or does social distancing and good hygiene suffice?
I am by no means an expert on operations for this, and this isn’t HR advice, but my recommendation is if you can comply with the general recommendations around hygiene and six feet of distance with your current crew sizes, you should maintain it. If you cannot maintain social distancing with your crew size, then you will have to adjust your protcols to achieve this.
+ My parents are in Mexico. My mom has AFib and my dad has diabetes and HTN. Should they come back to the US, or would you recommend they stay in Mexico?
These are considered underlying chronic health conditions. These conditions combined with their age puts them at increased risk of a serious infection from COVID-19. Things to consider before bringing them here: are there more cases in the town they’re in than in the town they’re coming to? What is the situation at the border? Is it even feasible to bring them over?
+ How does the 6 feet social distancing affect bus rides to and from work for ag employees?
The recommendation even in public transportation is to stay at least 6 feet away from each other. This may be difficult in practice. If there’s a crowded bus, skip it and wait for the next one. That might mean you’re a little late to work, but it’s important at this time for employers to be lenient for the sake of themselves and their employees.
+ What is the protocol for being in an office with over 10 employees where clients are still coming in and out of the office?
Maintain at least 6 feet of distance. If you’re still meeting with clients, it’s a good idea to keep a log of who you’re meeting with and when. In case someone in the office tests positive, you can notify everyone who might have been exposed to that person.
+ Is it safe for pregnant women to continue going to the doctor’s office? Are they considered compromised persons?
Pregnant women could potentially be at a higher risk of serious infection. I would not recommend skipping regular checkups, but talk to your doctor about what can be done to minimize risk of infection. If a pregnant woman gets sick, she needs to contact her doctor immediately.
+ How would you recommend going out to get supplies? Wear gloves, sanitize, etc.?
Try to get your supplies delivered, if possible. While your delivered items will encounter others (such as the delivery person), there’s a chance that fewer people in the community touched that item. If you must go, make sure you pick a time that’s low traffic. You don’t necessarily need to wear gloves or masks if you are healthy but be very careful about hand hygiene.
+ Can COVID-19 be transmitted to pets?
This answer has been updated.
Our understanding of how COVID-19 can impact pets is still evolving. As a precaution, the CDC recommends that if you’re sick to try and maintain distance from your pet and maybe have someone else take care of them during that time.
+ My grandson is coming home from college. Someone in the house is undergoing chemotherapy. Should we have him stay in another location for at least 7 days before he enters our home?
These are difficult calls to make because there is no way to say 100% that there is no risk. With that, if there is known spread at the college, then he should probably quarantine for 14 days. If there are no known cases and your grandson is perfectly healthy and shows no symptoms, there is low risk that he could transmit the virus.
+ Is soap and water better than rubbing alcohol?
The CDC recommends hand washing or alcohol-based hand sanitizers, so whichever is most convenient is fine.
+ Does opening windows for air circulation in the office and in buses help reduce risks of contamination?
Currently, there's no clear data that supports or dispels this.
+ Are any type of mask suitable to use for COVID-19?
Healthcare providers typically use N95 and they’re fitted for them. We have a huge shortage of masks right now and they need to be prioritized for healthcare workers. If you can get your hands on one of these, great, otherwise any mask that you wear when you’re sick is fine.
+ If a colleagues wife is pregnant and our operation is open to the general public, should he continue to work or take time off?
At this time in California, any employee that can work from home is encouraged to do so to minimize spread.
+ In consideration of privacy regulations, how do employers address the discovery of an infected employee who may have been in contact with other employees?
This is a challenging situation because the most common ways you would find out if an employee is infected is if the employee tells you or if the public health department tells you. You then must do whatever you can to maintain confidentiality while still having to gather the appropriate information for risk assessment. This means figuring out which other employees or office visitors might have been within six feet of the infected person for a prolonged period, all while maintaining confidentiality.
+ Is COVID-19 cured in China?
There are no FDA-approved drugs yet for the cure, treatment, or prevention of COVID-19.
+ Does coronavirus travel through open wounds?
This is not known to be a common mode of transmission. COVID-19 typically spreads person-to-person through respiratory droplets.
+ What about newborn babies' risks?
The vast majority of cases of COVID-19 are in adults. We still do not fully understand the risk to newborn newborns and young children.