State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte has issued an order expanding on Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive order 2020-21 requiring individuals who are family or household contacts to quarantine for 14 days. To align with new CDC guidance, Tufte’s order allows for essential workforce exemptions for individuals who are household contacts of people testing positive for COVID-19.
Individuals who are exempt include essential critical infrastructure workers as defined by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
“Employers should continue to act aggressively to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace,” said Tufte. “This includes allowing employees named as close contacts to self-quarantine for 14 days. When there are critical workforce shortages, the CDC guidelines that were released this week highlight important steps employers should take.”
Essential workers who have been exposed but are not currently showing any symptoms of COVID-19 should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:
- Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
- Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should continue to self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
- Wear a Mask: The employee should always wear a face mask while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings.
- Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit.
- Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Routinely clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas and shared electronic equipment.
If an employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately and surfaces in their workplace should be cleaned and disinfected.
The North Dakota Department of Health still strongly recommends that whenever possible, all close contacts of individuals infected with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days past the last day they were in contact with the person who tested positive.