Hunter CPA Group’s COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan

By in
209

In accordance with Executive Order 2020-59, Hunter CPA Group institutes this COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (“Plan”).

Hunter CPA Group aims to protect its workforce by enacting all appropriate prevention efforts.  We are continually monitoring guidance from local, state, and federal health officials and implementing workplace and Plan modifications where appropriate.

Employees or clients with questions are encouraged to contact Toni Nicholson via phone at (248) 236-8110 and/or email at toni@huntercpagroup.com.    

Prevention Efforts and Workplace Controls

Cleanliness and Social Distancing

Employees who are able to perform their essential duties remotely may be permitted to work from home in accordance with approved telework arrangements and safety measures.

Only critical infrastructure workers performing necessary work are directed to report on-site. For such workers, Hunter CPA Group abides by the recommended social distancing and other safety measures and establishes the following:

  • Employees are encouraged to maintain physical distance even when on break, as well as before and after working hours;
  • Employees are required to maintain physical distance when reporting to work and leaving work;
  • Employees’ work stations are no fewer than six feet apart;
  • Hunter CPA Group may utilize flexible work hours, wherever possible, to limit the number of employees simultaneously working on-site;
  • Employees’ interactions with the general public are modified to allow for additional physical space between parties; and
  • Non-essential travel is postponed or cancelled.

Hunter CPA Group provides employees with, at a minimum, non-medical grade face coverings.

In addition, we are instituting the following cleanliness measures:

  • Performing routine environmental cleaning and disinfection, especially of common areas; and
  • Where available, providing hand sanitizer in high-traffic areas.

Employees are expected to minimize COVID-19 exposure by:

  • Cleaning work stations at the beginning and end of each shift;
  • Avoiding, when possible, the use of other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment;
  • Frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Utilizing hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable;
  • Avoiding touching their faces with unwashed hands;
  • Avoiding handshakes or other physical contact;
  • Avoiding close contact with sick people;
  • Practicing respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes;
  • Immediately reporting unsafe or unsanitary conditions on Hunter CPA Group premises;
  • Complying with Hunter CPA Group’s daily screening processes;
  • Seeking medical attention and/or following medical advice if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • Complying with self-isolation or quarantine orders.

Supplemental Measures Upon Notification of Employee’s COVID-19 Diagnosis and/or Symptoms

An employee with a COVID-19 diagnosis or who displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must be immediately removed from the worksite.

In response to a confirmed diagnosis or display of COVID-19 symptoms, Hunter CPA Group:

  • Informs all employees with and near whom the diagnosed/symptomatic employee worked of a potential exposure;
  • Keeps confidential the identity of the diagnosed/symptomatic employee; and
  • Conducts deep cleaning of the diagnosed/symptomatic employee’s workstation, as well as those common areas potentially infected by the employee.

Hunter CPA Group completes an OSHA Form 300, as well as a Form 301, “if it is more likely than not that a factor or exposure in the workplace caused or contributed to the illness.”  If an employee infects a coworker, the coworker has suffered a work-related illness if one of the recording criteria (e.g., medical treatment or days away from work) is met.

Worker Exposure Classification

Employees’ “worker exposure” is classified as medium risk by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s guidance because they frequently and/or closely interact with the clients and/or the general public.

Given this classification, Hunter CPA Group provides the following controls in addition to the above-summarized prevention efforts: installing physical barriers where feasible, limiting exposure to the general public, and minimizing face-to-face contact.

Identification and Isolation of Sick and/or Exposed Employees

Risk and exposure determinations are made without regard to employees’ protected characteristics, as defined by local, state, and federal law.

Any health-related information and documentation gathered from employees is maintained confidentially and in compliance with state and federal law.  Specifically, medical documentation is stored separate from employees’ personnel documentation.

Employees’ Self-Monitoring

The following employees should not report to work and, upon notification to Hunter CPA Group, will be removed from the regular work schedule:

  • Employees who display COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, and/or gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, whether or not accompanied by a formal COVID-19 diagnosis;
  • Employees who, in the last 14 days, have had close contact with and/or live with any person having a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis; and
  • Employees who, in the last 14 days, have had close contact with and/or live with any person displaying COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, and/or gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting

Such employees may only resume in-person work upon meeting all return-to-work requirements, defined below.

Daily Screenings

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the potential risk of exposure, Hunter CPA Group screens employees on a daily basis.

Employees are asked the following questions before entering the worksite:

  • Are you currently suffering from any of the following symptoms – fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, and/or gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting?
    • If a touch-less thermometer is available, temperature checks are performed.
    • If yes, access is denied, and employee is advised to self-isolate/self-quarantine at home, until employee is permitted to return to work as defined below.
  • Have you lived with, or had close contact with, someone in the last 14 days diagnosed with or displaying the symptoms of COVID-19?
    • If yes, access is denied, and employee is advised to self-isolate/self-quarantine at home, until at least 14 days after the close contact.
  • Have you traveled via airplane internationally or domestically in the last 14 days?
    • If yes, access is denied, and employee is advised to self-isolate/self-quarantine at home, until at least 14 days after the international or domestic travel.

Employees who develop symptoms during their shift must immediately report to Toni Nicholson and/or Brenda Hunter.

Return-to-Work Requirements

Employees who were themselves diagnosed with COVID-19 may only return to work upon confirmation of the cessation of symptoms and contagiousness, proof of which may be acquired via the test-based strategy or the non-test-based strategy.

The test-based strategy is preferred but relies upon the availability of testing supplies and laboratory capacity. Under this strategy, employees may discontinue isolation and return to work upon achieving the following conditions:

  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
  • Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID-19 from two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Under the non-test-based strategy, employees may discontinue isolation and return to work upon achieving the following conditions:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Employees who came into close contact with, or live with, an individual with a confirmed diagnosis or symptoms may return to work after either 14 days have passed since the last close contact with the diagnosed/symptomatic individual, or the diagnosed/symptomatic individual receives a negative COVID-19 test.

Employees are typically required to submit a release to return to work from a healthcare provider; given the current stressors on the healthcare system, Hunter CPA Group may accept written statements from employees confirming all the factors supporting their release.

Workplace Flexibilities and Potential Benefits for Employees Affected by COVID-19

Employees may be permitted to utilize available paid-time off provided under Hunter CPA Group policy concurrently with or to supplement any approved leave.

Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Under Executive Order 2020-57, and the federal CARES Act, unemployment compensation benefits are expanded in terms of eligibility, amount, and duration.

Employees who are unable to report to work for reasons related to COVID-19 are referred to Office Management for information on unemployment compensation benefits.  Such reasons include the following

  • Being under self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised;
  • Displaying at least one of the principal symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e., fever, atypical cough, atypical shortness of breath);
  • Having close contact in the last 14 days with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis; 
  • Needing to care for someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis; and
  • Fulfilling a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive (e.g., caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or otherwise unavailable due to COVID-19).

Plan Updates and Expiration

This Plan responds to the COVID-19 outbreak.  As the pandemic progresses Hunter CPA Group will update this Plan and its corresponding processes.

This Plan will expire upon conclusion of its need, as determined by Hunter CPA Group and in accordance with guidance from local, state, and federal health officials

54321
(0 votes. Average 0 of 5)