The new protocols implement enhanced safety measures employers must follow to combat the spread of the virus. Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed the order Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations. Among other provisions, the order requires employers to provide masks and require their use by both employees and customers.
After exposure to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, businesses are ordered to implement temperature screenings before employees enter the premises. Employers must send any employee home with an elevated temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The order also establishes cleaning procedures businesses must take after an exposure.
According to Governor Wolf’s press release, compliance will be mandated through enforcement actions including citations, fines, or license suspensions. Governor Wolf is directing the Liquor Control Board, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Industry, Pennsylvania State Police, and local officials, to enforce all orders related to COVID-19 to the full extent of the law.
The order becomes enforceable at 8 p.m. on April 19, 2020. Some of the specifics of the new requirements include, but are not limited to:
If an exposed employee becomes sick during the workday, the order directs them to be sent home immediately. Surfaces in the employee’s workspace should be cleaned and disinfected. Employers must promptly notify employees who were close contacts of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the business premises, without violating applicable confidentiality laws. The order does not apply to health care providers.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Co-authors Jonathan Krause and Gaetano Piccirilli are partners in the Litigation Department at Klehr Harrison.