What to do if you are exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case
This fact sheet is applicable to situations where an employee has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 and the exposed employee is currently in a CFIA workplace or has been in a CFIA workplace since they were exposed.
If you have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, whether it is a co-worker, client or personal contact, and you are not symptomatic, both you and your manager have responsibilities.
- Supervisor / manager responsibilities
- Employee responsibilities
- Disclosure of medical information
- Shared responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy workplace
- Disinfection requirements
- Managers – notification of other individuals in the employee's workplace(s)
- Contact information
Supervisors and managers must:
- request that the employee leave the workplace immediately to self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms and seek public health or medical advice if symptoms appear
- collect relevant information from the employee
- protect the employee's personal information, including medical information
- employee names should not be disclosed unless deemed necessary in the context of COVID-19
- notify their immediate manager
- identify an alternative individual to perform the employee's duties if necessary
- remain in contact with the employee to stay informed of the employee's health status and help them feel connected and supported
- follow the employee's medical practitioner's or public health direction regarding the appropriate timing for the employee to return to work
- notify your supervisor or manager immediately and provide your:
- contact information
- job functions
- work location(s) and work areas used or travelled to since exposure
- prepare to leave the workplace immediately
- self-isolate, self-monitor for symptoms and seek medical and/or public health advice if symptoms appear, in accordance with public health direction
It is important for you to take care of yourself and others. You can:
- get information on COVID-19: canada.ca/coronavirus
- seek medical or public health advice
- self-isolate, self-monitor for symptoms and continue the recommended hygiene practices
- contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program for support as needed:
- Online: workhealthlife.com
- By phone:
- English: 1-844-880-9142
- French: 1-844-880-9143
- TTY: 1-877-338-0275
Disclosure of medical information
Under normal circumstances, you would not be asked to provide the CFIA with specific medical information.
Given the exceptional circumstance of a global pandemic and in the interest of public health, information on the spread of COVID-19 needs to be tracked. Both you and the employer have responsibilities for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace under the Canada Labour Code.
Therefore, you should report to your manager if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, if you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 in the workplace, if you were in the workplace while infected or potentially infected, and whether you travelled internationally in the last 14 days.
This information will be shared with those who need to know so they can take preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
If you are unable to work from home, you will be placed on Leave with Pay for Other Reasons (Code 699).
Shared responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy workplace
Employees share responsibility with the CFIA to maintain a safe and healthy workplace (Canada Labour Code, II 1265(1)).
- report to the employer circumstances in the workplace likely to be hazardous to the health or safety of employees
- implement the recommended measures such as self-isolation to reduce transmission of the virus
Refusal to take the preventative measures requested by the employer may be considered insubordination and result in disciplinary action.
Managers may contact their Labour Relations Advisor, Area Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator/Advisor or Lab Safety Coordinator for additional guidance, if an employee refuses to leave the workplace in accordance with the recommended preventive measures.
If the employee was exposed to COVID-19 in a CFIA workplace, disinfection of that workplace would already have been triggered by the initial report of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
If the employee was exposed to COVID-19 outside of their CFIA workplace, disinfection of the workplace(s) where the asymptomatic employee has been since their exposure is not required. Direction from Public Services and Procurement Canada, in consultation with health authorities, is that normal cleaning practices should remain in place; disinfection is only required where illness (that is, individual is symptomatic) has been presented in the workplace.
Managers – notification of other individuals in the employee's workplace(s)
If public health authorities have directed that other individuals in the workplace need to be informed, in the case of a workplace shared with another organization, notify management of that organization. CFIA employees should be told that:
- an individual in the workplace was exposed to a confirmed case on COVID-19 but is now in self-isolation and self-monitoring for symptoms
- additional cleaning and disinfection of the workplace is not required as the individual was not symptomatic when they were in the workplace
- employees should continue to follow the recommended hygiene practices
Remember, unless there is a demonstrated need to identify the exposed employee based on public health authorities' advice, do not release the name of the employee to others in the workplace.
Managers must always notify their immediate manager of the situation providing the implicated workplace(s) name and address.
Supervisors and managers in Operations Branch must notify higher-level management up to and including the Regional Operations Director.
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