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COVID-19 Pandemic Guidelines for Employees
The Tennessee Department of Health recommends safeguarding protocols for all businesses in Tennessee, including those that are reopening and those essential businesses that remained open during the Safer at Home order. These safeguarding protocols are based on the recommendations of the CDC, OSHA and the TN Department of Health. Protocols are subject to revision and may be released on a rolling basis.

To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to employees and the public, it is important for all employees to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before they expose other workers. Through wellness screening, all ill employees, regardless of the source of the illness, are excluded from the work environment until a contagious disease can be ruled out.


Employee Screening/Identification of Illness

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms varying from no symptoms to mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Please evaluate yourself for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to work with the following questions:

Have you experienced any of the following in the last 24-48 hours?

Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle Pain
Congestion or runny nose
Sore throat
New loss of taste or smell
Nausea or vomiting


Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?

Being within 6 feet of a sick person (or a person who tests positive for COVID-19) for 10 minutes or longer.
Being in direct contact with germs from a sick person with COVID-19.
Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19.
Caring for a sick person with COVID-19.


If an employee has been in direct contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 or you are experiencing symptoms, it must be reported to your supervisor or the Executive Director as soon as possible.

MHA will continue to temperature screen all employees onsite with a no-touch thermometer each day upon arrival at work.

Any employee who has any of the COVID-19 symptoms or has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater will be asked to leave the premises immediately and seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing, per Tennessee Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Symptoms should not be presumed to be seasonal allergies or sinusitis until COVID-19 has been excluded.

Returning to Work After Illness or Exposure

If an employee or an employees’ household member tests positive for COVID-19 it must be reported immediately.

MHA will be following a test-based and symptom-based strategy to determine when to discontinue home isolation and the employee is able to return to work. Employees must be without a fever and at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

**loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

Employees will be required to self-quarantine for a minimum of 10 calendar days plus 24 hours without fever and fever reducing medication.

Employees with conditions that weaken their immune system may need to stay home longer than 14 days. Consult with your healthcare provider and the Executive Director to determine the best course of action for these specific scenarios.


Preventative Measures

MHA encourages all employees to continue practicing healthy habits during working hours.

Continue to practice social distancing, even if you are wearing a mask.
Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for > seconds, or use alchohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces regularly, including your phone.


Maintenance employees should wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when entering units to help reduce transmission. All PPE will be provided by MHA. If there are any shortages or low inventory that you are aware of, please notify your supervisor or the Executive Director immediately.


COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. If you are thinking about traveling, MHA is asking that you consider protecting yourself and others by:

Cleaning your hands often.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating.
If soap and water are not available, bring and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Avoid close contact with others.
Keep 6 feet of physical distance from others.
Wear a cloth face covering in public.
Cover coughs and sneezes.

Out of State Travel – Follow state and local travel restrictions. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or local health department where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination. While you are traveling, it is possible a state or local government may put into place travel restrictions, such as stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantines upon arrival, or even state border closures. Plan to keep checking for updates as you travel.

International Travel – The U.S. Department of State is operating under a Level – 3 Health Advisory that advises U.S. citizens to avoid unnecessary international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many countries are implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. If travel is necessary, check often for restrictions and updates.


Additional Notes from the Director

Please understand that this global pandemic has continual rules and guidelines being added and suggested, therefore this notice should be considered a living document. Any revisions or additions will be provided as they become available.

MHA will continue to abide by the U.S. Department of Labor’s CARES Act and CDC guidelines. Information regarding the CARES Act has been provided to you as well as posted.

Please take that into consideration that there are many scenarios regarding illness and exposure to COVID-19, and know that MHA’s administration will handle specific circumstances on a case by case basis, at the discretion of the Executive Director, while still following the rules and guidelines implemented in this notice.