Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Please note – this document will be updated periodically as new information and guidance emerges.

Updated March 11, 2020


What is Coronavirus?
Information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found at the website for the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

What should I do if I am exposed or think I am exposed to the virus?
First, assess your exposure level based on the CDC’s guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html.

If you are high or medium risk, please notify your supervisor immediately, go home and contact your primary care physician.

If you are low risk and have some symptoms, self-isolation and social distancing is recommended. Person should seek health advice to determine if medical evaluation is needed.

If you are low risk and have no symptoms, CDC recommends self-observation.

My employee notified me that they are exposed or think they are exposed to the virus?
Please follow your Division’s exposure protocol. If your division does not have one, please email covid19inform@memphistn.gov and your Division Director.

What can be done to prevent the spread of the virus?
1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
3. Stay at home when sick.
4. Cover cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in trash.
5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with disinfectants
Resource: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-releases-list-disinfectants-use-against-covid-19
6. Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

For additional information, see the CDC’s website:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

Should masks be worn?
As a general rule, employees will not be required to wear face masks. Public Health has advised that healthy employees do not need to wear facemasks.

What are current high-risk areas?
The CDC maintains a list of high risk areas at the https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

What should employees do who return from high risk areas?
City of Memphis requests that any employee or contractor that has traveled to mainland China, Iran, Italy, South Korea or any country identified by the CDC since March 5, 2020, please notify HR by using this form: https://fs29.formsite.com/CityofMemphis/selfreporttravel/index.html or by calling 1-901-636-6800.
Resource: For country-level risk classifications, see Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel. If you are planning a trip to or through one of these destinations, you may be required to remain out of the workplace for a specified period of time. You should report your travel plans in advance of your trip to your Division Director and HR. It is recommended that individuals avoid non-essential personal travel at this time.

What is “close contact” with a person with COVID-19?
Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

How do I know if I have high or medium exposure risk?
Exposure Risk Assessment is based on the CDC’s guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html.

What should an employee do if they have had close contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and the employee has symptoms?
The employee should have immediate isolation and sent home until a physician or health official has cleared them to return to work.

What should an employee do who has not had close contact with someone with diagnosed COVID-19, but the employee has symptoms?
The employee should not be in the workplace until the employee has been symptom-free for at least 72 hours and cleared by a physician to return to work.

Should a returning employee have to get medical approval to return?
Yes.

What can an employee do who is feeling anxious about the Coronavirus?
Please talk with your safety liaison about your concerns. Also visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for more information.

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