What Employers Should Know About the COVID-19 Outbreak
To protect your business and your employees, our Gwinnett County business law attorneys explain what you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, has grown into a world-wide pandemic. The respiratory virus has spread rapidly throughout Georgia and across the United States, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and resulting in a tragic number of deaths. Schools, businesses, and government agencies throughout the country have closed in response. In Gwinnett County, certain types of business are permitted to remain open. Our business law attorneys explain the various rules that apply and what local employers need to know to keep themselves and their employees safe.
Coronavirus Closures in Gwinnett County
The federal government has been reluctant to dictate how states respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Elected officials across the country have created their own guidelines for handling the crisis. After facing pressure from medical professionals and community leaders, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that on April 1, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp put a statewide shelter in place order into effect.
The Governor’s order reinforces actions already taken throughout Gwinnett County. Residents are encouraged to remain at home as much as possible while schools and non-essential businesses close. Those deemed essential include hospitals, doctor offices, utility companies, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, restaurants providing takeout or delivery services, and public transit providers. These and certain other businesses may remain open, provided they adhere to public safety guidelines.
Best Practices to Protect Against Coronavirus
COVID-19 is a new, or novel, virus that is highly infectious and causes respiratory disease. It is spread primarily through droplets contained within the coughs and sneezes of infected individuals. Infection can also result due to droplets that linger on surfaces. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges frequent handwashing, disinfecting of all potentially contaminated surfaces, and avoiding being out in public if you are at high risk or exhibit symptoms.
For employers who remain open during the pandemic, best practices to protect yourself and your employees include:
- Know the symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms include fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing;
- Identify exposed workers: Workers who exhibit these symptoms should be sent home. Employees who may have been exposed to these individuals should remain quarantined at home for at least 14 days.
- Limit direct contact: Employees, customers, and others you come into contact with should refrain from shaking hands and keep at least six feet apart from each other at all times.
- Disinfect surfaces: Disinfecting of all surfaces should be done on an hourly basis and after any type of contact.
- Wear masks: The CDC recently updated mask recommendations for the coronavirus, advising their use among the general public.
Questions or Concerns? Reach Out to Our Gwinnett County, GA Business Law Attorneys
At Zimmerman & Associates, we can help ensure you are compliant with state laws and public safety guidelines pertaining to the coronavirus. To get the trusted legal guidance you need in this situation, reach out and contact our Gwinnett County business law attorneys today.