As of March 16, 2020 there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County or in West Virginia. 84 people have been tested through the state’s public health lab, with 80 negative and 4 pending. Check coronavirus.wv.gov for the most up-to-date information.
Jefferson County Health Department strongly recommends that all workplaces develop and implement a liberal, non-punitive leave policy in preparation for potential community spread of COVID-19 in our county. If any employee feels sick (especially with a fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing) they should be encouraged to stay home until they feel well again. Employers should not require a doctor’s excuse note or limit the number of sick days their employees can take. Anyone who is quarantined or under home isolation should be excused from work for a period of 14 days, or as long as public health officials deem necessary.
We understand that this can be a burden for many businesses, especially small businesses with only a few employees, but we are asking you to help protect the health of the public. A high percentage of West Virginians are elderly or have chronic health conditions. Slowing the spread of this virus will save lives by preventing our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.
For people that feel too sick to go to work, but not so sick that they can’t get out of bed, teleworking may be a possibility. In this age of wifi, Skype, and cell phones, more and more people can do their work without being physically present in the office. There are many telework policy examples and templates available online if you feel this could be a good option for your workplace.