Volume 36 I Thursday, December 10, 2020
Take Action: Urge Congress to Pass Year-End COVID Legislation!
As an essential industry, print and packaging has continued to function throughout a difficult 2020. And while a COVID-19 vaccination inspires hope for a safer, more productive 2021, experts warn of difficult winter months ahead. Congress is considering end-of-year legislation that would include COVID-19 stimulus and relief measures.
The last major COVID legislation was passed by Congress in April. It is time to update and extend previously passed provisions, and to address new areas of relief and stimulus necessary to a period of recovery. Timing is critical; Congress should not adjourn for 2020 without passing pandemic legislation.
PRINTING United Alliance member companies are called upon to take action today. Please contact your US Senators and US Representative and urge them to pass COVID-19 legislation. For your convenience, we’re providing a ready-to-send message calling on lawmakers to specifically support the following:
  • Temporary, targeted COVID-19 liability protection to businesses that adhere to safe workplace guidelines from pandemic-related lawsuits;
  • Additional funding for and improved functionality of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including making PPP loans already received fully tax deductible;
  • Pandemic-related funding to USPS for short-term relief that requires a sound long-term operational plan to keep USPS delivering print and packages;
  • Incentives to spur domestic manufacturing production of PPE, particularly for printers that have pivoted to this product line;
  • Incentives to reboot safe attendance at live events and a return to business sales travel; and
  • Provisions to help employers manage HR and workplace safety issues related to COVID-19.

The White House, Senate and House of Representatives are negotiating comprehensive year-end COVID-19 legislation now, and PRINTING United Alliance is advocating that key legislative priorities that will benefit our industry, its employees and its customers be included in a final bill. Please take action and make your voice heard at this critical time.
Printing and packaging companies across the country must come together with a unified voice to seek year-end pandemic relief and recovery solutions that will take us all forward on the path to a safer country and a stronger economy. Thank you for taking action today!
Clarification On Quarantine
Face Mask 1
Here are the official CDC definitions of isolation and quarantine:
  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Exposure is basically divided into two types: “close contact” and “contact” that raise the question of quarantine. Close contacts should quarantine at home. Contacts (not close contacts) can still come to work, closely monitoring the possible development of symptoms and using strict masking and distancing protocols.
If someone hasn’t personally been with a COVID-19 positive person, they do not need to quarantine. HOWEVER, let’s say your employee, John Doe, lives live with someone who is a close contact of a COVID-19 case (let’s call her Jane Doe), and as a result Jane has to quarantine. John should avoid being anywhere near Jane and they should be in separate rooms and using separate bathrooms if at all possible. If Jane gets negative COVID tests and doesn’t develop symptoms, obviously John doesn’t have to do anything else. However, if Jane catches the virus, then she needs to isolate and John becomes a close contact and must quarantine. That means John will be off of work for the duration of the quarantine.
Accuracy of COVID-19 testing Rapid vs. Regular
it is better to have employees get the regular, NOT the rapid test if at all possible, and here is why:
There is a big difference in the accuracy of the rapid tests vs. the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) lab test. The reason the rapid tests have a lower accuracy rate than the PCR test is because the viral load has to be at its peak to clearly register positive on the rapid test. The regular PCR test will detect COVID-19 in the nasal passages at nearly all phases of the virus. So, if someone has just become infected, or is at the end of their infection, the viral load may be so low as to not register on the rapid test but would register on the PCR test. 
I have attached a graph from the UC Davis Health System that shows the arc of the viral RNA to give it context. The other lines are the antigens that are detected in the antibodies test (which is different from the testing done for the active virus).
How Will You Support Your Staff During What May Be a Very Lonely Holiday Season?
In mid-November, shortly before Thanksgiving and as COVID-19 cases surged around the country, governors extended or ramped up their safety requirements. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, for instance, ordered indoor fitness centers and dining to be closed. And he ordered residents not to hold gatherings with people from other households. The message: Celebrate Thanksgiving, but only with those you normally live with. That sentiment is likely to extend around the country throughout the holiday season.

These restrictions will certainly keep employees from enjoying the holiday season with friends and relatives as they typically would. It's one more disappointment in a year full of stress and change.
Ask The HR Experts
Q: Given the COVID-19 pandemic, should we cancel our annual holiday party?

A: We would certainly recommend not having an in-person event this year, which could put your company, employees, customers, and community at risk. If your event spreads the virus, your employees could become sick, much of your workforce may need to quarantine, and your event could make the news.

We understand, however, that cancelling this event could be disappointing to you and your employees. One way to spread joy, but not the virus, would be to host a virtual party. You could provide gift cards to local eateries or food delivery services, organize a home decorating or ugly sweater contest, and facilitate interactive games.

You could also offer employees the option of having the cost of the gift card they would otherwise receive donated to a charity (while still having the virtual shindig). Or, if a virtual party isn’t feasible or employees aren’t in the mood, you could donate the entire cost of the celebration to a worthwhile organization. If you take either charitable approach, we recommend allowing employees to help you choose the charities, so they feel like they’ve participated in the giving.

Source: ThinkHR
4 Steps to Take When an Employee Is Diagnosed with COVID- 19
As COVID-19 infection rates continue to climb, it’s imperative that organizations respond quickly when an employee is diagnosed.
Phone: 858.800.6900 I Email: Info@piasd.org