Should Businesses Quarantine Employees Who Have Traveled Out Of State? – Rea CPA

Should Businesses Quarantine Employees Who Have Traveled Out Of State?

How To Set Up Your Own COVID-19 Policies & Protocols

The roller coaster ride that is COVID-19 (coronavirus) has prompted numerous questions from business owners and organizational leaders who are not only looking to maintain their existing operations but are striving to do so while keeping their workforce healthy and safe. While, for the most part, the economy has begun humming along again, news of an uptick in illnesses and particularly high spikes of new cases across certain states, has prompted many business owners here in Ohio to ask whether certain protocols should be put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when an employee returns home to Ohio after spending time in high-risk states, such as Florida, Arizona, New York, and Nevada.

The short answer is, at this particular time (2 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, 2020 – to be precise), Ohio does not have any quarantine mandates in place regarding Ohio citizens who are returning to the Buckeye state after visiting COVID “hot spot” states. However, what we are seeing, is that some states have started to implement self-quarantine guidelines for out-of-state travel – and, based on the current rate of infection in Ohio, Ohioans may find themselves on a list of those who are required to self-quarantine upon arriving into one of these states.

Where Is Self-Quarantine Required?

According to budgettravel.com, those who are considering whether to travel out of their home state for a vacation or short trip should check their destination’s travel advisories prior to hitting the road. For example, if you reside in Arkansas and have traveled to Connecticut, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, or any international destination, you will be required to go into self-isolation for 14 days to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In Connecticut, however, “anyone arriving from a state with a positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.”

How To Establish A Quarantine Policy In Your Business

While a government mandate might not yet be in place here in Ohio, employers can choose to implement their own quarantine policy – as long as it is consistently applied to all employees.

The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively changed the way we do business in the United States of America and, to rise to align with these changes, businesses must make significant changes to their business operations – including the addition and revisions of policies and procedures. If you would like to see which policies and procedures you should consider adding and revising, download our Sample Table of Contents for your Employee Handbook.

Additionally, if you are looking for questions or would like help creating a self-quarantine policy for your organization, reach out to me anytime.

By Renee West, SHRM-SCP, human resources consulting (New Philadelphia office)