COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template and instructions

Executive Order 20-40, issued by Gov. Tim Walz on April 23, 2020, requires each business in operation during the peacetime emergency establish a “COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.”

A business’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan shall establish and explain the necessary policies, practices and conditions to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19 and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards related to staff exposure to COVID-19. The plan should have the strong commitment of Executive(s) and the Board of Directors and be developed and implemented with the participation of staff. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, in consultation with MDH, has the authority to determine whether a plan is adequate.

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Laurentian Chamber of Commerce

Laurentian Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff. To ensure that, we have developed the following Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Laurentian Chamber of Commerce President, CEO and staff are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces, and that requires full cooperation among staff and the President, CEO.  Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our workers and workplaces.

President, CEO and staff are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this Preparedness Plan. Laurentian Chamber of Commerce President, CEO has the full support of the Board of Directors in enforcing the provisions of this policy.

Our staff are our most important assets. We are serious about safety and health and keeping our staff working at Laurentian Chamber of Commerce. Staff involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our staff in this process by hosting collaborative meetings involving all staff and the Board of Directors and receiving their feedback and input for the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.  Our Preparedness Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines and federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and addresses:

  • hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • engineering and administrative controls for social distancing.
  • housekeeping – cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination.
  • prompt identification and isolation of sick persons.
  • communications and training that will be provided to managers and workers
  • management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.

Screening and policies for employees exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19

Staff have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess staffs’ health status prior to entering the workplace and for staff to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms.

Laurentian Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Work Safety Policy

Employee Safety

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided to every employee and is required to be worn prior to entering the workplace and throughout the common areas of the workplace.  It is not required when employees are alone in their office.  In conjunction, Laurentian Chamber employees will work under the guidance of social distancing recommendations further outlined in the Laurentian Chamber’s COVID-19 Preparedness plan.

Employee Symptom Self-Reporting

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have a wide range of symptoms reported — ranging from mild to severe illness.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.  People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

An employee who experiences symptoms associated with COVID-19 while home should not report to work but instead contact the President/CEO using the standard call-in process.  Should the employee experiencing symptoms be the President/CEO, he/she should notify the Chair of the Board.

Effective May 6, 2020, all employees reporting to work will self-screen for all known COVID-19 symptoms and take their body temperature prior to coming to work as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Employees are required to attest to be symptom-free upon arrival at work.   The employee’s temperature and attestation to no known COVID-19 symptoms will be documented, and the record will be maintained as a private medical record.

In the event an employee develops a fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or begins experiencing any of the known COVID-19 symptoms, he/she will be immediately sent home. The employee should monitor his or her symptoms and call a doctor or use telemedicine if concerned about the symptoms.

An employee sent home can return to work when:

  • He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND
  • Any respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved for at least three (3) days; AND
  • At least seven (7) days have passed since the symptoms began.

An employee may return to work earlier if a doctor confirms the cause of an employee’s fever or other symptoms is not COVID-19 and releases the employee to return to work in writing.

Example of Self-Screening Attestation Form:

COVID-19 Employee Health-Screening Attestation Form

Employee name: _____________________________________________________

Job title: ____________________________________________________________

Supervisor’s name: ___________________________________________________

Laurentian Chamber of Commerce has implemented leave policies that promote staff staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household. Accommodations for staff with underlying medical conditions or who have household members with underlying health conditions have been implemented.

 

Laurentian Chamber of Commerce Family Medical Leave Expansion and

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy (Coronavirus)

Purpose

To comply with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and to assist employees affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with job-protected leave and pay, where applicable. This policy will be in effect from April 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020.  The size of our organization renders the federal Family Medical Leave Act inapplicable, however we recognize the importance of providing important protected leave during this unprecedented time.  Our existing Leave Policies still apply to all other scenarios outside of this policy.

Family Medical Leave

Employee Eligibility

All current employees who have been employed with The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce for at least 30 days and are actively scheduled for work are eligible for leave under this policy.

Employees laid off or otherwise terminated on or after March 1, 2020, who are rehired on or before December 31, 2020, are eligible for leave upon reinstatement if they had previously been employed with The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce  for 30 or more of the 60 calendar days prior to their layoff or termination.

Reason for Leave

Eligible employees who are unable to work (or telework) due to a need to care for their child when a school or place of care has been closed, or when the regular child care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.

“Child” means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is:

  • Under 18 years of age.
  • 18 or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

“Childcare provider” means a provider who receives compensation for providing childcare services on a regular basis, including:

  • A center-based childcare provider.
  • A group home childcare provider.
  • A family childcare provider (one individual who provides childcare services for fewer than 24 hours per day, as the sole caregiver, and in a private residence).
  • Other licensed provider of childcare services for compensation.
  • A childcare provider that is 18 years of age or older who provides child care services to children who are either the grandchild, great grandchild, sibling (if such provider lives in a separate residence), niece or nephew of such provider, at the direction of the parent.

“School” means an elementary or secondary school.

Duration of Leave

Employees will have up to 12 weeks of leave to use from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, for the purposes stated above. This time factors in what would be provided under the federally mandated Family Medical Leave Act for qualifying organizations of 12 weeks in a 12-month period, if said act applied.

Increments & Intermittent Use of Leave

Employees may take expanded Family Medical Leave intermittently and, in any increment, agreed to with their manager. For example, an employee may only need 4 hours per day of leave to care for his or her child or may only need to do so on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Managers and employees are expected to be flexible in scheduling wherever possible.

Pay During Leave

Leave will be unpaid for the first 10 days of leave; however, employees may use accrued paid vacation or personal leave during this time. The employee may also elect to use the paid leave provided under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, as further explained below.

After the first 10 days, leave will be paid at two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be scheduled to work. Pay will not exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in total, or $12,000 in total if using emergency paid sick leave for the first two weeks. Any unused portion of this pay will not carry over to the next year.

Procedure for Requesting Leave

All employees requesting Family Medical Leave must provide written notice of the need for leave to the President/CEO or Chair of the Board as soon as practicable. Verbal notice will otherwise be accepted until written notice can be provided.

Notice of the need for leave must include:

  • The name and age of the child or children being care for.
  • The name of the school, place of care, or childcare provider that closed or became unavailable due to COVID-19 reasons.
  • A statement representing that no other suitable person is available to care for the child or children during the period of requested leave. For children over the age of 14, a statement indicating the special circumstances that require the employee to provide care during daylight hours.

On a basis that does not discriminate against employees on Family Medical Leave, the Chamber may require an employee on leave to report periodically on the employee’s status and intent to return to work.

Employee Status After Leave

Generally, an employee who takes Family Medical Leave will be able to return to the same position or a position with equivalent status, pay, benefits and other employment terms. If the position the employee held before leave started no longer exists due to economic conditions or operational changes that are made because of the public health emergency, and no equivalent position is available, the employee will not be returned to employment. However, for the period of one year after qualifying leave under this policy ends, The Laurentian Chamber will make reasonable efforts to contact the employee if an equivalent position becomes available.

 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Eligibility

All current full and part-time employees scheduled but unable to work (or telework) due to one of the following reasons for leave:

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to either number 1 or 2 above.
  5. The employee is caring for his or her child if the school or place of care of the child has been closed, or the childcare provider of such child is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the secretary of health and human services in consultation with the secretary of the treasury and the secretary of labor.

“Child” means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is:

  • Under 18 years of age.
  • 18 or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

“Individual” means an immediate family member, roommate, or similar person with whom the employee has a relationship that creates an expectation that the employee would care for the person if he or she self-quarantined or was quarantined. Additionally, the individual being cared for must: a) be subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order as described above; or b) have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine based on a belief that he or she has COVID-19, may have COVID-19 or is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Furloughed employees are not eligible as there is no work available from which to take leave.

Amount of Paid Sick Leave

All eligible full-time employees will have up to 80 hours of paid sick leave available to use for the qualifying reasons above. Eligible part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours worked, on average, over a two-week period.

For employees with varying hours, one of two methods for computing the number of hours paid will be used:

  • If the employee has worked 6 months or more, the average number of hours that the employee was scheduled per day over the 6-month period ending on the date on which the employee takes leave, including hours for which the employee took leave of any type.
  • If the employee has worked less than 6 months, the expected number of hours to be scheduled per day at the time of hire.

Increments and Intermittent Use of Leave

When working from home, employees may take emergency paid sick leave intermittently and, in any increment, agreed to with their manager. As in the example for Family Medical Leave, an employee may only need 4 hours per day of leave to care for his or her child or may only need to do so on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Managers and employees are expected to be flexible in scheduling wherever possible.

For those not teleworking and currently working onsite, an employee may only take intermittent leave for reason 5 above, to care for his or her child when the school or place of care is closed, or the caregiver is unavailable due to COVID-19-related reasons. Per the regulations, as all other reasons for emergency paid sick leave could potentially expose an employee or others in the workplace to the virus, employees must either use the full amount of paid sick leave or use it in full-day increments until the reason for leave is over and it is safe for the employee to return to work.

Rate of Pay

Emergency sick leave will be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay, or minimum wage, whichever is greater, for leave taken for reasons 1-3 above. Employees taking leave for reasons 4-6 will be compensated at two-thirds their regular rate of pay, or minimum wage, whichever is greater. Pay will not exceed:

  • $511 per day and $5,110 in total for leave taken for reasons 1-3 above.
  • $200 per day and $2,000 in total for leave taken for reasons 4-6 above.

Interaction with Other Paid Leave

The employee may use emergency paid sick leave under this policy before using any other accrued paid time off for the qualifying reasons stated above.

Procedure for Requesting Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Employees must notify the Laurentian Chamber President/CEO in writing of the need and specific reason for leave under this policy. Verbal notification will be accepted until practicable to provide written notice.

Documentation supporting the need for leave must be included with the leave request form, such as:

  • A copy of the federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 applicable to the employee or the name of the government entity that issued the order.
  • Written documentation by a health care provider advising the employee to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 or the name of the provider who advised the employee.
  • The name and relation of the individual the employee is taking leave to care for who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or is advised to self-quarantine.
  • The name and age of the child or children being cared for; the name of the school, place of care, or child care provider that closed or became unavailable; and a statement that no other suitable person is available to care for the child during the period of requested leave.
    • For children over age 14, a statement indicating the special circumstances that require the employee to provide care during daylight hours.

Once emergency paid sick leave has begun, reasonable procedures for the employee to report periodically on the employee’s status and intent to continue to receive paid sick time will be determined between the Chamber President/CEO or Chair of the Board of Directors and the employee.

Carryover

Paid emergency sick leave under this policy will not be provided beyond December 31, 2020. Any unused paid sick leave will not carry over to the next year or be paid out to employees.

Job Protections

No employee who appropriately utilizes emergency paid sick leave under this policy will be discharged, disciplined, or discriminated against for work time missed due to this leave.

Laurentian Chamber of Commerce has also implemented a policy for informing staff if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time as recommended by the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health.

In addition, a policy has been implemented to protect the privacy of staffs’ health status and health information while maintaining and complying with HIPAA guidelines and practices.

Notification of Workplace Exposure to COVID-19

We have been notified that one of our employees has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. As such, employees working at The Chamber may have been exposed to this virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is thought to spread mainly 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. If you experience symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, coughing or shortness of breath), please inform The Chamber office at (218) 741-2717 and contact your health care provider.   The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce will keep all medical information confidential and will only disclose it on a need-to-know basis.

The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce is taking measures to ensure the safety of our employees during this coronavirus outbreak as outlined in our Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Handwashing

Basic infection prevention measures are always being implemented at our workplaces. Staff are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift, prior to any mealtimes and after using the toilet. All visitors to the facility will be required to wash their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility. Some workplaces may have hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) that can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water if hands are not visibly soiled. Antibacterial soap and CDC approved hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout the workplace and stationed at the front entrance.  All staff and visitors must comply with the hand washing measures as outlined by the CDC and the MDH.  Signage has been placed throughout the workplace.

Respiratory etiquette:  Cover your cough or sneeze

Staff and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in the trash and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all staff and visitors. In addition to the above, the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce is also making it mandatory for visitors to wear a face mask while on the premises.  Applicable signage has been placed throughout the workplace and PPE is provided for staff and visitors at the front entrance.

Social distancing

Social distancing is being implemented in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls:  the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce will follow the CDC and MDH recommendations in social distancing at a minimum of 6 feet; we will continue to telework with flexible hours and staggered shifts in order to reduce the amount of staff in the workplace at one time and we have provided signage or instructions for employees and visitors.  PPE, disinfectants and hand sanitizers provided by the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce (as they are available for purchase), will be strategically placed throughout the workplace in order to comply with the CDC and MDH regulations on social distancing and disinfecting shared workplaces.  Staff and visitors are prohibited from gathering in groups and confined areas, including breakrooms and conference rooms, and from using other staffs’ personal protective equipment, phones, computer equipment, desks, cubicles, workstations, offices or other personal work tools and equipment.  Also prohibited is the use of the microwave, coffee maker(s) and refrigerator.  In addition to the above, the Chamber staff also has the right to refuse any Laurentian Chamber of Commerce business travel for the next 90 days or until the COVID-19 emergency orders are lifted.

Housekeeping

Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunchrooms, and meeting rooms. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, etc.  Cleaning products and protocol will follow the CDC and MDH recommendations.  The workplace will be professionally cleaned bi-monthly or more if needed due to any exposure or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19

Communications and training

This Preparedness Plan was communicated via conference call and email to all staff May 6th, 2020 and necessary training was provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing as new information and resources become available and provided to all staff who did not receive the initial training. President, CEO is to monitor how effective the program has been implemented by making it a matter of record in the Presidents report monthly at the Board of Directors meeting. President, CEO and staff are to work through this new program together and update the training, as necessary. This Preparedness Plan has been certified by the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and President, CEO and was posted throughout the workplace May 6th, 2020.  It will be updated, as necessary.

Certified by:

Erik Holmstrom

President, CEO of Laurentian Chamber of Commerce

 

Rick Crum

Chair of the Board of Laurentian Chamber of Commerce

 

 

Appendix A – Guidance for developing a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

General

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV

www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus

www.osha.gov

www.dli.mn.gov

Handwashing

www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

www.cdc.gov/handwashing

https://youtu.be/d914EnpU4Fo

Respiratory etiquette:  Cover your cough or sneeze

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/prevention.html

www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html

Social distancing

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/businesses.html

Housekeeping

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html

www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

Employees exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basics.html

Training

www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/about.pdf

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-small-business.html

www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf