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 October 2020 to reflect changes in federal, state and local guidance.



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
Section 5: Employee Classifications
Section 6: Business Continuity Plans
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 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 state or local orders and rules, or federal guidance, related to COVID-19 are issued or amended.


SECTION I:
GENERAL OVERVIEW 

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), Emergency Rules issued by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). This Plan is also in accordance with Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by 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.

SECTION 2: BASIC INFECTION PREVENTION MEASURES

Enhanced Hygiene
Employees are instructed to wash their hands frequently, to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissue or use the inside of their elbow, and to avoid touching their faces.  Employees will be provided with access to places to frequently wash hands or to access hand sanitizer.  Employees will also be provided with access to tissues and to places to properly dispose of them.  Signs regarding proper hand washing methods will be posted in all restrooms.  Hand shaking is also prohibited to ensure good hand hygiene.

Sick Leave Policies
Workers are required to stay home if they are sick. Employees are permitted to take paid leave consistent with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Calhoun County's applicable PTO policies, including our Health Emergency Leave Policy. Click here for this policy. 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 will be considered for all employees whose job duties  can be done successfully and efficiently while telecommuting.  Remote work is not guaranteed.  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 our operations, 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 before each use. 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 routinely. 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.

Workers are prohibited from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If sharing such items or spaces is not possible, then workers should wipe down any and all items and spaces prior to sharing it with another worker. The County will provide employees with disinfectant wipes and other disinfecting products for this purpose.

Enhanced Social Distancing
Supervisors will direct employees to perform their work in such a way so as to reasonably avoid coming within six feet of other individuals.  Where possible, employees may be relocated or provided additional resources in order to avoid shared use of offices, desks, telephones, and tools/equipment. Ground markings, signs, or physical barriers may also be used, if needed. The number of employees permitted in any break room or lunch room shall be limited to ensure social distancing and gathering restrictions can be followed. 

Employees should remain in their assigned work areas as much as possible.  Employees will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment appropriate to the exposure risk associated with the job following guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) applicable to the industry and types of jobs at the workplace and in accordance with applicable state orders and rules. Physical barriers may also be installed for employees commensurate with their level of risk of exposure to COVID-19. Calhoun County may consider alternating days or extra shifts that reduce the total number of employees in the workplace at one time to ensure social distancing can be maintained.

In-person meetings should be replaced with virtual communications to the extent possible.  When required, in-person contact should be conducted with PPE and appropriate social distancing. 

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.


SECTION 3: PROMPT IDENTIFICATION AND ISOLATION OF SICK INDIVIDUALS

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.  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 are experiencing any ONE (1) new or unexpected of the following COVID-19 symptoms:  
    • Fever of at least 100.4F
    • Shortness of breath; 
    • Continuous cough;
    • Loss of taste or smell

OR

  • They are experiencing at least TWO (2) of the following symptoms:
    • Chills/Repeated shaking with chills Muscle aches and pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Fatigue/lethargy/weakness
    • Nausea/Vomiting

 Note: COVID-19 symptoms are often similar to seasonal allergies, colds, and flu/influenza. 

OR

  • They have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person, meaning:
    • An immediate family member has tested positive for or exhibited symptoms of COVID-19; or
    • They were notified by a public health official that they were in close contact with someone who tested posted for COVID-19

If an employee qualifies as a Suspected Case (as described above), 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 or the provider has made a differential diagnosis of COVID-19.

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.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Calhoun County will check the OSHA and CDC websites regularly for updates about recommended PPE and assess the need for PPE for employees. 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.

Calhoun County will provide any required PPE in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidance as well as any state and local orders. Employees are required to wear masks when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace. Face shields will also be considered when workers cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace. Calhoun County also encourages employees to use PPE and hand sanitizer on public transportation. 


SECTION 4: ADDITIONAL WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS

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
All non-essential business travel is suspended until further notice.

Visitors
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 such requirements will be posted.  Employees required to screen visitors should use the screening questionnaire to decide if the visitor can enter the building. This is the Visitor Screening Questionnaire. 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.

Continue to Follow Existing OSHA Standards
Calhoun County will continue to adhere to all applicable existing OSHA standards and requirements.

Training
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.
  • The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Steps the worker 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 worker must follow in order to prevent exposure to and spread of the virus.
  • How to report unsafe working conditions.

Record-keeping
Calhoun County shall maintain the required record-keeping under state emergency orders and rules.

The following records are required to be maintained:

  1. Required employee training.
  2. Employee Screening.
  3. Cleaning and disinfection at County facilities.
  4. 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 one year 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.


SECTION 5: EMPLOYEE CLASSIFICATIONS

Calhoun County will implement appropriate protections based on each job classification’s risk level.  The County will consult OSHA’s most up-to-date classification system and their guidance on how to protect workers at different classifications, when determining proper PPE.


SECTION 6: BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANS

The Courts and the County will use the same COVID-19 Workplace Coordinator.  The COVID-19 Workplace Coordinator will: (1) work with departments to cross-train employees to perform essential functions so the workplace can operate even if key employees are absent; (2) identify alternate supply chains for critical goods and services in the event of disruption; and (3) develop an emergency communication plan to communicate important messages to employees and constituents.

 


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.

We also have non-branded signs to go up throughout buildings as appropriate. Click for building signs. Page 5 in the signs PDF can be customized by the organization for the department or situation, simply by writing on the printed form. 

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