Valued ABC Member

Over the course of the last week, as the state continues to see a potential second wave of COVID-19, we've received many calls about how to handle positive cases as well as potential exposures to the virus. We've consolidated the questions, as well as the answers, in this email to make it easier for you to navigate the steps required to protect you, your employees, your projects and your company.

We hope this FAQ answers your questions. However, if you need additional information, please reach out to your regional Membership Director or Chapter office for further assistance.
1. Am I required to pay people who are out on quarantine by me or local/state health departments? 
Yes. When you send someone home because they have symptoms of COVID-19 or to get tested you must pay them under the Family First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA).  

Employers that do not currently offer sick leave to some or all of their employees may want to draft non-punitive “emergency sick leave” policies. Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of and understand these policies. 

  • For a written overview of the FFCRA, click here 
  • ABC Empire State Chapter conducted a webinar on FFCRA, click here to watch it 

2. An employee called to say they were or may have been exposed to COVID-19. What do I do? 
Employees who may have been exposed to the virus should stay home and monitor their symptoms. If after 72 hours, they remain symptom free, you can consider bringing them back to work. However, we recommend before bringing them back you require them to get tested.  

For the rest of your employees, before you send them home or you ask them to get tested:
  1. Have they been wearing a mask? 
  2. Are they working more than 6 feet apart?
  3. Have they filled out their daily COVID-19 questionnaire?  

If the answer to the above are yes, they can continue to work but you should monitor them for any symptoms. 

Refer to question 1 about paying the employee

*The CDC has now defined prolonged exposure as being mask-less and closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. If anyone matches that criteria we encourage you to pull them from the workforce and get them tested.

3. What should I do if an employee comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms?  
Employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should be immediately sent home. They should not return to work until they no longer feel symptoms of COVID-19 after isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider. You may require them to get a test before they can return to work.  

After 24 hours without a fever, the employee can return to work as long as they continue to monitor their symptoms.  

Do I have to pay them? Yes. See answer 1 

4. What happens if one of my employees tests positive for COVID-19?  
In most cases, you do not need to shut down your office or jobsite. If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee has been in the office or on the site, close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person: 
  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait if possible. 
  • During this waiting period, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in these areas. 

Inform employees of their possible exposure but maintain confidentiality as it relates to state law.
5. How do I bring back an employee that tested positive?  
Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under ALL the following conditions: 
  • At least 10 days* have passed since symptom onset  
  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications 
  • Other symptoms have improved 

Employees can return to work after meeting all quarantine breaking requirements listed here: Disposition of Non-Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 | CDC 
You can require them to get tested before returning to work. However, the policy must be non-discriminatory, and consistent. Test for Current Infection | CDC 
6. I have an employee that has been out of work for more than 7 days after testing positive. Is there anything I need to do on the jobsite or in the office? 
If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the office or jobsite, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the office or jobsite.  Continue to ensure that all your employees monitor their symptoms and fill out their daily COVID-19 questionnaire.  

7. What if the employee never felt symptoms but did have a positive test? 
Persons infected with COVID who never develop symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive test. 

8. I’m a subcontractor who had an employee test positive. Do I need to notify the general contractor? 
First, you must ensure all your employees are filling out their daily COVID-19 questionnaire.  You need to notify the general contractor of the positive test and the last time that employee was on the jobsite.  

Refer back to Question 4 about dealing with employees who have tested positive

9. As a general contractor who was notified by a subcontractor of a positive COVID test. What are my notification responsibilities? 
A general contractor needs to notify the project owner and other subcontractors.

ABC Empire State Chapter conducted a webinar that covers contractual requirements, click here for more information.

10. I’m a subcontractor, can I refuse to work on a site where the general contractor had someone test positive? 
ABC Empire State Chapter conducted a webinar that covers contractual requirements, please click here for more information.

11. Under the Governors new Micro-cluster strategy, what happens if my office falls into a Red Zone?  
Under the guidelines, 50% of your staff need to work remotely.
You must remain at 50% capacity in your office until the Red Zone designation is removed.
12. If I must shut down my office or my worksite job trailer what steps do I need to take? 
Ensure your office staff have the proper equipment to work from home. You should consider having a professional service clean your office during the shutdown, however it’s not required.
13. How do I find the closest testing site? 
Click the button below to find the nearest testing site: 
If you're wondering if an area is in a Yellow, Orange or Red zone or you maybe traveling to a different part of the state, you can search an address by clicking the button below:
The ABC Empire State Chapter will continue to provide you with the most up to date information your company needs to safely navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have additional questions, please contact me.
Tanner Schmidt
Cell: 585-730-1814
WNY Membership & Government Affairs
ABC Empire State Chapter