What should I do if a staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
The Covid-19 infection rate is still very high, more and more restaurants and other hospitality venues are now, unfortunately, experiencing their first positive test cases and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down in the immediate future.
It’s important that your business has a plan to manage positive Covid-19 test results in a way which protects your customers and staff but also protects your livelihood (your business).
The below is a plan of action which you can follow to deal with the situation.
1. If an employee is showing signs of symptoms, then they should go for a test as soon as possible. As soon as somebody tests positive, they should immediately begin self-isolating.
2. Close your venue for the next steps.
3. Decide who else could have been in ‘close contact’ with the infected person.
Who has been in ‘close contact’ is a judgement to be made by the business owner or person responsible for health and safety in the business. There are a whole host of ways in which other staff members could have been in close contact so it’s really important to very carefully and purposefully consider this.
Government guidance states several situations which would count as close contact straight away. These include:
– People who spend significant time in the same household with an infected person
– Sexual partners of an infected person
– People who have had face to face contact (within 1m) with an infected person for any amount of time
– People who have been within 2m of an infected person for more than 15 minutes (in total across one whole day)
– People who have shared a small space with an infected person such as a car
4. Instruct people you deem to have been in close contact to begin self-isolating immediately for 10 days.
5. Carry out a deep clean. You should make sure that all areas and contact points within the venue that the infected person and the close contacts of, could have possibly touched or been near.
6. Once all known infected staff members and close contacts are out of the business and the venue has been cleaned, you can begin trading again with a healthy team.
7. This process needs to be documented in a stand-alone risk assessment. Complete the risk assessment document after you have made the venue safe, don’t waste time on paperwork before you’ve carried out your actions.
* If you have enrolled onto our Covid-Safe scheme, you will have received a template and guidance to complete this risk assessment.
8. Send your risk assessment document to your local EHO office by email.
We were advised by two EHO offices that this is their preferred procedure. EHO may ask you further information on how you handled the situation.
If you need any further guidance on this, please reach out to us. Stay safe.