Guidance for workers with exposure risk

A female nurse dressed in blue looks up at her patient wearing a pink robe who's sitting in her wheelchair.

Workers and employers involved in healthcare, deathcare, laboratory, airline, border protection, and solid waste and wastewater management operations and international travel to areas with ongoing, person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 may have potential occupational exposure to COVID-19.

Food service workers should follow the sanitizing of food contact surfaces in the kitchen and food preparation areas as they have always done in accordance with the Food Sanitation Rules. No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time. Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4" F (37 .s• CJ or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).

For further workplace guidance for workers with exposure risk:

Older and individuals with pre-existing conditions should follow the guidance issued by OHA and CDC for those populations, no matter where they work or volunteer. Older is defined as 60 years of age or more.

Underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 for individuals of any age: 

  • Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners) 
  • Chronic kidney disease 
  • Chronic liver disease 
  • Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, receiving an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV with a CD4 count <200)
  • Current or recent pregnancy (in the last two weeks) 
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes) 
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders) 
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease) 
  • Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen 
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions 

Older adults and people with underlying conditions can stay safe and healthy if they take steps to protect themselves. In addition to taking everyday precautions, these individuals should avoid public gatherings, people who are sick, cruise ships and non-essential air travel. All individuals, whether at-risk or not, must be personally responsible for their own well-being and their contributions to the public health of the local community.