Information is current as of Nov. 23, 2020
If an employee has had close contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19, they should quarantine at home for 14 days. If they can work from home for those two weeks, they should do so.
Close contact is defined as being closer than 6 feet away for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour time period. This is regardless of wearing a mask.
Minnesota allows some leeway for companies that are considered part of the critical infrastructure.
If you are not sure if you fall into this category, look at Section 6 of Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-48: https://www.leg.mn.gov/archive/execorders/20-48.pdf. If an employee has had close contact with someone who tested positive and “their absence would create staffing shortages,” they may return to work as long as they remain symptom-free and adhere to COVID prevention protocols.
We recommend that you have this employee self-isolate at work by requiring the following.
The employee must:
- Wear a mask at all times, other than when at lunch and on break.
- Work alone, separated from other workers by at least six feet. The employee must not get close to other employees, even to help them briefly. • Not go into any small room (mixing room, offices) if others are in that room.
- Take lunch and breaks alone.
- Use a lightweight facemask over the exhalation valve if the employee wears a half mask respirator.
- Take his or her temperature each morning and keep a record of the results.
- Affirm at the start of each work day that no symptoms have developed.
- Be tested for COVID-19 five to seven days after exposure (seven days is better). o If the test results are negative, continue self-isolation precautions until 14 days have passed. o If the test results are positive, the employee must quarantine at home for 10 days from the test date.
- Review COVID prevention protocols with all employees.
- Enforce use of masks and physical distancing.
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends several strategies for controlling the spread when employees have had close contact or tested positive. To read more, click here.