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RELEASE: April 24, 2020

SARS – CoV-2 Influenza Virus Policy & Procedures

STEVIE’S Employee & Vendor Standards for Best Practices  

Center for Disease Controls, Department of Health and Human Services, Occupational Safety and Health Act with OSH ACT’s General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1).  Environmental Protection Agency, Los Angeles Department of Environmental Health.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has spread from China to many other countries around the world, including the United States. Depending on the severity of COVID-19’s international impacts, outbreak conditions—including those rising to the level of a pandemic—can affect all aspects of our daily life, including travel, trade, food supplies, and financial stability.

To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions STEVIE’S workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19. STEVIE’S will continue planning for COVID-19 and this may involve updating plans to address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics that become available through the CDC, FDA, OSHA and Federal entities.

STEVIE’S is following this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so in the preparation, transport and sourcing of inflight products and services.

This guidance is intended for planning purposes and this planning guidance will help identify risk levels in our workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement. Additional guidance may be needed as COVID-19 outbreak conditions change, including as new information about the virus, its transmission, and impacts, becomes available and this will be shared via text immediately.

 

Steve Sipprell

 

SARS-CoV-2 / Our Responsibility and Awareness

Symptoms of COVID-19

Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can cause illness ranging from mild to severe and in some cases, can be fatal. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some people infected with the virus have reported experiencing other non-respiratory symptoms. Other people, referred to as asymptomatic cases, have experienced no symptoms at all.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Although the first human cases of COVID-19 likely resulted from exposure to infected animals, infected people can spread SARS-CoV-2 to other people.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person- to-person, including:

  • 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. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (i.e., experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this type of asymptomatic transmission with this new coronavirus, but this is also not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

STEVIE’S Workplaces

Similar to influenza viruses, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has the potential to cause extensive outbreaks. Under conditions associated with widespread person-to-person spread, multiple areas of the United States and other countries may see impacts at the same time. In the absence of a vaccine, an outbreak may also be an extended event. As a result, workplaces may experience:

  • Absenteeism. You could be absent because they are sick; caregivers for sick family members; are caregivers for children if schools or day care centers are closed; have at-risk people at home, such as immunocompromised family members; or are afraid to come to work because of fear of possible exposure. Let Human Resources know if you have any challenges and we will work through them together.

  • Change in patterns of commerce. Operations will work to shop at non-peak hours to reduce person-to-person contact.

  • Interrupted supply/delivery. Shipments of items severely affected by COVID-19 may be delayed or cancelled with or without notification.  Do not confirm retail requests without management approval.

 

Reducing STEVIE’S Risk of Exposure to SARS-CoV-2

Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan

Prepare to Implement Basic Infection Prevention Measures

Protecting our operation will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures. As appropriate, all employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices, including:

  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are immediately available, we will provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.

  • Encourage you to stay home if sick.

  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.  

  • Provide customers and the interface with public operation with tissues and trash receptacles in delivery or accepting delivery.

We will be exploring whether they can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies.

  • We will not be using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.

  • Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment. When choosing cleaning chemicals, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).

 

 

 

STEVIE’S Development, Implementation, and Communication about Workplace Flexibilities and Protections

  • We will actively encourage sick employees to stay home.

  • Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.

  • Talk with companies that provide business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.

  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.

  • Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.

  • Recognize that ill family members may need to stay home to care for them. See CDC’s Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in homes.

  • We are aware of pay, leave, safety, health, and other issues that may arise during infectious disease outbreaks. Provide adequate, usable, and appropriate training, education, and informational material about business-essential job functions and worker health and safety, including proper hygiene practices and the use of any workplace controls (including PPE).

  • Work with insurance companies (e.g., those providing employee health benefits) and state and local health agencies to provide information to workers and customers about medical care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Implement Workplace Controls

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls involve isolating employees from work-related hazards. In workplaces where they are appropriate, these types of controls reduce exposure to hazards without relying on worker behavior and can be the most cost-effective solution to implement. Engineering controls for SARS-CoV-2 include and were completed March 28, 2020

  • Installing high-efficiency air filters - are in place.

  • Increasing ventilation rates in the work environment - are in place.

  • Installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards for coffee bar.

  • Installing a drive-through window for customer service is in permitting.

 

Administrative Controls

Administrative controls are changes in work policy or procedures to reduce or minimize exposure to a hazard. We are adapting weekly with agencies advice.  Examples of administrative controls for SARS-CoV-2 include:

  • Encouraging when sick to stay at home.

  • Minimizing contact among workers, clients, and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing telework if feasible.

  • Establishing alternating days or extra shifts that reduce
    the total number of employees in a facility at a given time, allowing them to maintain distance from one another while maintaining a full onsite work week.

  • Discontinuing nonessential travel to locations with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

  • Developing emergency communications plans, including a forum for answering workers’ concerns and internet-based communications, if feasible.

  • Providing up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviors (e.g., cough etiquette and care of PPE).

  • Training to use protecting clothing and equipment how to put it on, use/wear it, and take
    it off correctly, including in the context of their current and potential duties.

Safe Work Practices

Safe work practices are types of administrative controls that include procedures for safe and proper work used to reduce the duration, frequency, or intensity of exposure to a hazard. Examples of safe work practices for SARS-CoV-2 include:

  • Providing resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene. STEVIE’S has provided tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces.

  • Requiring regular hand washing or using of alcohol-based hand rubs. Workers we always wash hands when they are visibly soiled and after removing any PPE.

  • Post handwashing signs in restrooms.

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

While engineering and administrative controls are considered more effective in minimizing exposure to SARS-CoV-2, PPE may also be needed to prevent certain exposures. While correctly using PPE can help prevent some exposures, it should not take the place of other prevention strategies.

Examples of PPE include: gloves, goggles, face shields, face masks, and respiratory protection, when appropriate. During an outbreak of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, recommendations for PPE. All types of PPE is as follows:

  • Selected based upon the hazard to the worker – drives will be in retail masks for PPE.

  • Properly fitted and periodically refitted, as applicable (e.g., respirators).

  • Consistently and properly worn when required.

  • Regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced, as necessary.

  • Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of, as applicable, to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment.

 

STEVIE’S Exposure to SARS-CoV-2

Our collective occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, during an outbreak may vary from very high to high, medium, or lower (caution) risk. The level of risk depends in part on the industry type, need for contact within 6 feet of people known to be, or suspected of being, infected with SARS-CoV-2, or requirement for repeated or extended contact with persons known to be, or suspected of being, infected with SARS-CoV-2. To help determine appropriate precautions, the following graph has divided job tasks into four risk exposure levels: very high, high, medium, and lower risk. The Risk Pyramid shows the four exposure risk levels in the shape of a pyramid to represent probable distribution of risk. Our operations will likely fall in the lower exposure risk (caution) or medium exposure risk levels.

Very High Exposure Risk

Very high exposure risk are those with high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19 during specific medical, postmortem, or laboratory procedures:

  • Healthcare workers (e.g., doctors, nurses, dentists, paramedics, emergency medical technicians) performing aerosol-generating procedures (e.g., intubation, cough induction procedures, bronchoscopies, some dental procedures and exams, or invasive specimen collection) on known or suspected COVID-19 patients.

  • Healthcare or laboratory personnel collecting or handling specimens from known or suspected COVID-19 patients (e.g., manipulating cultures from known or suspected COVID-19 patients).

  • Morgue workers performing autopsies, which generally involve aerosol-generating procedures, on the bodies of people who are known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19 at the time of their death.

 

High Exposure Risk

High exposure risk jobs are those with high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19. Workers in this category include:

  • Medical transport workers (e.g., ambulance vehicle operators) moving known or suspected COVID-19 patients in enclosed vehicles.

  • Mortuary workers involved in preparing (e.g., for burial or cremation) the bodies of people who are known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19 at the time of their death.  

Medium Exposure Risk

Medium exposure risk jobs include those that require frequent and/or close contact with (i.e., within 6 feet of) people who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2, but who are not known or suspected COVID-19 patients. In areas without ongoing community transmission, workers in this risk group may have frequent contact with travelers who may return from international locations with widespread COVID-19 transmission. In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, workers in this category may have contact with the general public (e.g., schools, high-population-density work environments, some high-volume retail settings).

STEVIE’S Lower Exposure Risk (Caution)

Lower exposure risk (caution) jobs are those that do not require contact with people known to be, or suspected of being, infected with SARS-CoV-2 nor frequent close contact with (i.e., within 6 feet of) the general public. Workers in this category have minimal occupational contact with the public and other coworkers. STEVIE’S is within these categories for internal operations.  Retail purchases will be addressed based on continued vendor vetting.

NOTE: Workers who dispose of PPE and other infectious waste must also be trained and provided with appropriate PPE. The restrooms have equipment installed as of March 29, 2019.

 

STEVIE’S will continue to share Best Practices in a concerted effort to assist in the end of SARS – CoV-2 and will take progressive steps in food safety working for the employee, vendor and general public best interests.

 

Steve Sipprell

STEVIE’S Los Angeles

 

REVISIONS; March 16, 2020, March 28, 2020, April 4, 2002, May 8, 2020

 

Internal transmission / HR / Compliance / Best Practices

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