COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information for Employers

Health by Design is closely monitoring developments related to the outbreak of COVID-19 and will be vigilant in following the recommendations of the CDC. This page was created to provide our clients with information and resources. For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.

COVID-19 Progress Indicators

Key signs or indicators of the effectiveness of addressing COVID-19 in our community.

Goal: Sustained decline in the number of new cases of COVID-19 ≥ 14 days

Goal: Ability to perform tests for all symptomatic patients, their contacts and people in public facing roles

Goal: Capacity to identify all close contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19 and offer testing to those for whom it is indicated.

Goal: Sufficient hospital capacity, workforce, and PPE for healthcare workers.

Guidance on Caring for Your People

How do we reduce risk for essential workers on-site?
We recommend following thereopening guidelines established by the CDC for Cleaning and Disinfecting workplaces, as well as guidance from your local and state governments, including but not limited to:

On-site Screening
  • Daily screening for signs and symptoms of illness and fever
  • or Daily self-attestation of symptoms and fever-free
People Factors
  • Training all employees in proper hand washing and work-space cleaning
  • Training employees in proper mask technique
  • Establishing a safe space for reporting symptoms
  • Requiring cloth masks for all employees
  • Prohibiting in-person meetings
  • Staggering arrival times
  • Staggering break times
  • Staggering lunch times
Environmental Factors
  • Touchless door or a door-person
  • Hand washing or hand disinfectant stations upon entry
  • Plexiglass screens
  • Max 4 people per elevator, floor markings in 4 corners
  • Physical reminders for physical distancing, floor markings
  • Eating at desk instead of cafeteria
  • Touchless pay options
  • Increasing cleaning according to OSHA and CDC
  • Increasing air exchanges, increasing circulation of outside air
  • Pay special attention to break rooms, eating spaces and cafeterias
  • Pay special attention to restrooms, including: limiting number of people, encourage closing of toilet lid when flushing, block off some stalls to allow for 6 ft distancing, kick plate for door opening, and touchless soap, faucet, towel dispensers
Can my workers return to the workplace?
We recommend ALL of the following workers continue to follow work from home / stay at home practices:
  • All non-essential workers
  • Essential workers showing signs and symptoms of any illness
  • Essential workers who have had contact with a COVID+ patient within 14 days of symptoms
  • Vulnerable / High Risk Populations
We recommend following the CDC's guidance to protect the health of employees who must report to a worksite.
Who should get tested?
  • Individuals who are ill with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, a new loss of taste or smell, vomiting, or diarrhea and/or sore throat), should be tested with the PCR test. There are some restrictions on who can be tested, but as tests become more available, most symptomatic individuals should be tested so that potential contacts can be investigated
  • Healthcare workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19, should be tested with the PCR test.
  • Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and have now recovered, may be able to donate serum to be used to treat others with the disease. Contact your local blood bank.

Where can employees get tested from COVID-19
We recommend community PCR testing for symptomatic employees. Testing locations can be found using the links below.
What are the two types of COVID-19 test?
PCR Test (Diagnostic Test)Antibody Test (Serology Test)
Tells you if you are currently infected with COVID-19 May tell you if you have antibodies to the COVID-19 virus
Requires a swab sample from the back of the noseStill Investigational
Should a negative COVID-19 test be required for COVID+ patients to return to work?
Studies support a symptom-based, rather than a test-based strategy for ending isolation of COVID+ patients. Evidence indicates that patients are no longer contagious after 10 days since symptom onset for mild to moderate illness and 20 days for severe or immunocompromised individuals. Therefore, it is not standard of care to require a negative test before releasing from isolation and returning to work.

  • “Studies have not found evidence that clinically recovered persons with persistence of viral RNA have transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to others. These findings strengthen the justification for relying on a symptom based, rather than test-based strategy for ending isolation of these patients, so that persons who are by current evidence no longer infectious are not kept unnecessarily isolated and excluded from work or other responsibilities.”
  • “Although replication-competent virus was not isolated 3 weeks after symptom onset, recovered patients can continue to have SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected in their upper respiratory specimens for up to 12 weeks (Korea CDC, 2020; Li et al., 2020; Xiao et al, 2020). Investigation of 285 “persistently positive” persons, which included 126 persons who had developed recurrent symptoms, found no secondary infections among 790 contacts attributable to contact with these case patients. Efforts to isolate replication-competent virus from 108 of these case patients were unsuccessful (Korea CDC, 2020).” So you may need to hold patients out up to 12 weeks to get a negative test and there is not evidence that they are contagious after 10 days for mild to moderate illness and 20 days for severe or immunocompromised individuals. It is not standard of care to require a negative test before release from isolation.

Helpful Links for More Information

Helpful Downloads

COVID-19 Self-Screening Tool

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has set up a self-screening tool to help determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.

Take Screening