Email #26 - Travel Advisory to States Reporting Positive Testing Rates
Email #26 – COVID-19 – Pandemic Planning – Travel Advisory to States Reporting Positive Testing Rates
It has been over two months since we returned to full production and in that time we have had only two positive COVID cases in the plant. In both cases, neither resulted in the spread of the virus to other employees. Our many thanks to both employees for doing the right thing by not coming to work and immediately notifying us of their symptoms. A special thanks to Teri Baker, our nurse, for diligently following through on these cases as well as the continuous care and follow-up with all of our employees that she has helped navigate through these new and difficult times.
As you all know by now, the U.S. is seeing substantial increases in the number of cases across the country. One of the measures that the State of Ohio is monitoring is the positive testing rates in all states. A positive testing rate of 15% or higher brings with it an advised self-quarantine request of 14 days to ensure that there is no risk of spread. Currently these states are Mississippi (25.8%), Alabama (20.6%), Florida (18.4%), Nevada (19.0%), Idaho (18.3%), Arizona (18.2%), South Carolina (15.0%). The Occupational Safety & Health department will keep us all be updated on this list weekly with any changes issued by the State.
As a Company, we will be following the Governor’s quarantine recommendation and will require all employees that choose to travel, for personal reasons, to the states listed on the positive testing rates list to self-quarantine for 14 days immediately upon return. When in quarantine, employees will have the choice of either using PTO or going unpaid (note that the Company will not approve unemployment) and will not be permitted to return to work until having been cleared by Nurse Teri. Employees that chose to travel to other states and contract the virus will fall into the same situation – PTO or unpaid with no approval for unemployment and the inability to come back until cleared by Nurse Teri.
BILSTEIN is also following these guidelines for all business-related travel, including any states that are at or above a 10% positivity rate. We are reviewing specific county COVID rates as well as an extra precaution. We ask that if you are considering personal travel to a state or county with a positivity rate higher than 10% you inform us.
We make these decisions and requests with the best intent to protect the health of our employees and the continued operation of our business. We ask you all to use good judgement in these difficult times and avoid traveling outside of the state unless absolutely necessary. The only way to stop the spread and do away with this virus is to be vigilant in our efforts to fight it now.
Based on our continuous improvement value & mindset, we are committed to continue working on improvements and safeguards to protect our employees and provide the safest possible working environment. We ask you to support in this initiative by submitting your ideas to our COVID email hotline Covid19@bilsteinus.com and our hotline 513-301-2311 (please leave a message).