Preparedness and Response Plan

Calhoun County COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

Calhoun County is focused on providing services safely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This plan outlines how we will work together to maintain government operations in a way that minimizes the spread of coronavirus among  employees and the public. 

This plan was revised in April 2021 to reflect changes in federal, state and local guidance, as well as changes to county policy.

Preparedness Plan Sections

Section 1: General Overview
Section 2: Basic Infection Prevention Measures
Section 3: Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick Individuals
Section 4: Additional Workplace Protections
Appendix A: Return to Work Plan

Need help with your preparedness plan? Check out our resources for other organizations.

Preparedness Plan

Introduction and Purpose 
In order to respond to the current state of emergency related to the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and to comply with relevant federal guidance, and state and local orders and rules related to COVID-19, the Calhoun County has prepared the following COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (“Plan”).  This Plan may be updated as this situation evolves or as relevant guidance is issued or amended.


The following COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan has been established for Calhoun County (“The County”) in accordance with County policies and the requirements in the most recent Epidemic Orders  from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and Emergency Rules issued by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). This Plan is also consistent with current guidance from the CDC and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”).

Calhoun County has established this Plan to control, prevent and mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among employees and within County facilities.  For ongoing Plan updates and decision-making we will rely on the best available scientific evidence and public health guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health authorities.


Enhanced Hygiene
Employees and visitors are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, and will be provided with places to wash hands or to access hand sanitizer of alcohol-based hand towelettes containing at least 60 percent alcohol.  Signs regarding proper hand washing methods will be posted in all restrooms.    Employees and visitors are also encouraged to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissue or use the inside of their elbows.

Sick Leave Policies
Workers are required to stay home if they are sick. Employees are permitted to take paid leave consistent with the Calhoun County's applicable PTO and other paid and unpaid leave policies. Questions regarding leave shall be directed to Human Resources.  Any onsite employee who appears to have a respiratory illness may be separated from other employees and sent home.

Remote Work
Remote work may be allowed for employees as feasible based on job duties, service to the public and individual job performance.  All remote work must be coordinated and authorized by Elected Officials and Department Heads, and be conducted in accordance with the County’s Temporary Telecommuting Policy. Click here for this policy

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting
Increased cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment will be performed regularly, based on the latest CDC guidance, using products containing EPA-approved disinfectants. 

Departments will provide employees with access to disposable disinfectant wipes so that any commonly used surfaces can be wiped down. When choosing cleaning chemicals, Calhoun County will consult information from the EPA regarding approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. The manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfection products will be strictly adhered to.

How to Clean and Disinfect:

  • Frequently touched surfaces shall be cleaned with soap and water.
  • Cleaned surfaces should then be disinfected with spray or wipes.
  • Clean high touch surfaces at least once a day. These include: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. The County’s maintenance and contracted janitorial personnel will clean and disinfect surfaces in common and public areas, and restrooms.

Enhanced cleaning and disinfection shall be performed after persons suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the workplace. The following methods will be used for enhanced cleaning and disinfection::

  • Area(s) used by sick employees will be temporarily closed off until properly disinfected.
  • Maintenance and janitorial crews will clean and disinfect all areas affected.
  • CDC Guidelines to Cleaning and Disinfecting Facilities will be followed.

Enhanced Social Distancing
The County will direct employees, except those fully vaccinated, to remain at least 6 feet from one another to the maximum extent feasible while on worksite premises.  Ground markings, signs, or physical barriers may also be used, if needed, to continue social distancing between employees and between an employee and customers. The number of employees permitted in any break room or lunch room may be limited to ensure social distancing. Fully vaccinated employees are not required to socially distance themselves from others.

Employees will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment appropriate to their job following guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and in accordance with applicable state orders and rules. Calhoun County may consider alternating days or extra shifts that reduce the total number of employees in the workplace at one time to encourage social distancing.

In-person meetings should be conducted with PPE and appropriate social distancing except for fully vaccinated employees and visitors.

Calhoun County will follow the most updated state and federal guidance with respect to prevention and mitigation measures. Various posters have been posted within the workplace to inform employees of recommended prevention and mitigation measures. Finally, Calhoun County will adopt any additional infection-control measures that are reasonable in light of the work performed at the worksite and the rate of infection in the surrounding community.


Employee Screening Before Entering the Workplace

Calhoun County has implemented a screening protocol to identify known or suspected cases of COVID-19 among employees and isolate them from the remainder of the workforce. At the beginning of each day at the start of each work shift, Calhoun County will mandate that employees self-screen for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as required by emergency orders and rules. Employees are directed to promptly report any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 to their supervisor and Human Resources before and during the work shift and have provided employees with instructions for how to make such a report to the employer.  View our Employee Entry Screening Questionnaire. 

A screening questionnaire should be completed by all employees before being permitted to enter the workplace each day.  If an employee fails the screening process, he or she will be prevented from entering the premises until allowed to return to work under the County’s Return to Work Plan, attached as Appendix A.

The County’s screening protocol is set forth in its Temporary Requirements for Protective Safety Measures Policy.  Click here for this policy. Employees refusing to complete the screening process or comply with this Policy may be subject to discipline.

Self-Monitoring for Symptoms
Employees are encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure even while away from the workplace. Coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing are common symptoms of COVID-19. The CDC has also advised that other symptoms include fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

Procedures for Reporting Illness
Suspected Cases
An employee will be considered to have a Suspected Case of COVID-19 if: they have symptoms of COVID-19 but have not been confirmed through diagnostic testing or unvaccinated persons who have close contact with a person who has been confirmed through diagnostic testing to have COVID-19

If an employee qualifies as a Suspected Case, he or she must: 

  • Immediately notify supervisor and/or Human Resources COVID-19 Workplace Coordinator;
  • Follow guidance from the Public Health Department such as self-quarantine for 14 days or other duration; and
  • Seek immediate medical care and be tested.

If an employee qualifies as a Suspected Case, the County will:

  • Ensure that the employee’s work area is thoroughly cleaned.

Confirmed Cases 
An employee will be considered a Confirmed Case of COVID-19 when that person tests positive for COVID-19 through diagnostic testing.

If an employee believes that he or she qualifies as a Confirmed Case (as described above), he or she must:

  • Immediately notify supervisor and/or Human Resources contact of his or her diagnosis; and
  • Remain out of the workplace until they are no longer infectious according to the latest guidelines from the CDC and they are cleared to return to work by public health officials.

If an employee qualifies as a Confirmed Case, then the County will: 

  • Assist the Public Health Department with a close contact (individuals within 6 ft. for more than 15 minutes) investigation, and ensure employees who worked in close proximity to the positive individual are aware;
  • Ensure that the entire workplace, or affected parts thereof (depending on employee’s presence in the workplace), is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected;
  • If necessary, close the work area or workplace until all necessary cleaning and disinfecting is completed; and
  • Communicate with employees about the presence of a confirmed case, the cleaning/disinfecting plans, and when the workplace will reopen. 

Becoming Sick at Work
Calhoun County will physically isolate any employees with known or suspected COVID-19 from the remainder of the workforce, using measures such as, but are not limited to:

(a)     Not allowing known or suspected cases to report to or remain at their work location.
(b)     Sending known or suspected cases to a location (for example, home) where they are self-isolating during their illness.
(c)     Assigning known or suspected cases to work alone at the location where they are self-isolating during their illness.

Any onsite employee who appears to have a respiratory illness may be separated from other employees and/or other individuals and sent home. If such a situation arises, Calhoun County will identify a designated area with closable doors to serve as an isolation room until such potentially sick employees can be removed from the workplace. Personnel entering any designated area will be strictly limited.

Calhoun County will not discharge, discipline, or otherwise retaliate against employees who stay at home or who leave work then they are at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Calhoun County will provide to employees non-medical grade face coverings and any required PPE in accordance with CDC guidance as well as any state and local orders. Unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace.

All employees including those fully vaccinated must continue to wear face coverings when in the healthcare setting where patients may be present and when using airplane or public transportation if required by the latest CDC guidance.

The following will be applied to the selection and use of PPE by employees.

All types of PPE must be:

  • Selected based upon the hazard to the employee.
  • Properly fitted and periodically refitted, as applicable (g., respirators).
  • Consistently and properly worn when required.
  • Regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced, as necessary.
  • Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of, as applicable, to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment.


Engineering Controls
Calhoun County will implement the following engineering controls:

  • Installing high-efficiency air filters and increasing ventilation rates if identified through air quality tests as a necessity.
  • Installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards.

Administrative Controls
Calhoun County will review and implement administrative controls as appropriate, including:

  • Strategies to minimize face-to-face contact, such as installing drop boxes, and increasing online and phone-based services and payment options.

Non-Essential Travel
Employees who travel on County business are required to follow CDC guidelines for travel.

The County will follow State of Michigan and/or CDC guidelines regarding the use of masks by members of the public.  Visitors entering the buildings may be screened, and signs informing visitors of mask requirements will be posted.  Employees required to screen visitors should use the screening questionnaire, attached as Appendix D, to decide if the visitor can enter the building. If a visitor presents with symptoms of COVID-19 or answers yes to any of the screening questions, do not allow them into the building.

Employees should avoid confrontation if a visitor becomes argumentative, and contact law enforcement personnel as needed for assistance.

Working with Insurance Companies and State and Local Health Agencies
Calhoun County will work with applicable insurance companies and state and local health agencies to provide information to workers and customers about medical care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Calhoun County will coordinate and provide training to employees related to COVID-19. At minimum, training will be provided, as required, under state  emergency orders and rules, and the following:

  • Workplace infection-control practices, including information available on vaccinations for COVID-19.
  • The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Steps the employee must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • Rules that the employee must follow in order to prevent exposure to and spread of the virus.
  • How to report unsafe working conditions.

Calhoun County shall maintain the required recordkeeping under state emergency orders and rules.

The following records are required to be maintained:

  1. Required employee training.
  2. Employee Screening.
  3. When an employee is identified with a confirmed case of COVID-19, any required notifications that are made.

Records will be maintained for at least six months from the time of generation.

Workplace Coordinator
Calhoun County’s HR/Labor Relations Director is designated  as the central worksite coordinator who will work with the judiciary, department heads, and elected officials to implement, monitor, and report on the COVID-19 control strategies developed under this COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. A departmental supervisor will be on-site at all times when employees are present on site. An on-site employee may be designated to perform the supervisory role.

Resources for Other Organizations
Interested in using these documents for your business? Click here for a Word document of our plan. 
Screening forms are available as PDFs. Organizations can add their branding or logo to this form for employee screening or this form for visitor screening

To ensure every visitor can screen for COVID-19 before doing business with a county department, we have developed the visitor screening form in other languages.

Calhoun County Information Technology developed an internal smartphone app for employees to complete this screening form from home, digitally. It was built using Microsoft 360 Power Apps and Sharepoint. Click here for how-to instructions. Click here for a screenshot of our app.

Have questions about these materials? Feel free to email Lucy Blair, Calhoun County Communications Manager.