What Should You Do if There's a Positive Coronavirus Case in Your Facility?
Here is some advice from one FM on specific steps to take if an occupant has tested positive.
The one eventuality for which communication is most crucial is if an employee at your facility tests positive for COVID-19. For much related to this pandemic, it’s almost become cliché to say “there is no playbook for this,” says Stormy Friday, president of the Friday Group. “The CDC guidelines seem to change as often as you change a baby’s diaper,” she says. “The best advice is to start at the most stringent guidelines and work backwards.” Indeed, in the instance of a positive test, every organization absolutely must have a very specific and very stringent playbook.
Here’s how tech company SAP deals with a positive: “If someone is positive, we’ll notify HR and legal immediately, and our plan cascades from there,” says Larry Morgan, senior facilities manager, Global Real Estate and Facilities, for SAP. “We immediately shut the building down and send everyone home.” He says they’ll then implement contact tracing, though that’s more of an HR function than facilities. Facilities steps in and does a deep cleaning with electrostatic fogging machines of the whole building. And the building will stay closed for 14 days.
The positive test is a tricky thing, says Morgan, because you have to balance privacy issues with letting anyone who potentially had contact with that person know. But it’s always best to err on the side of safety — to use “an abundance of caution,” in the parlance of our times.
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