COVID-19 Prevention Program
The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, causes a viral respiratory illness called COVID-19, which can make people sick with flu-like and other symptoms. The virus spreads easily when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or speaks, sending tiny droplets into the air. These droplets can land in the nose, mouth, or eyes of someone nearby and cause illness. This viral illness can also be caught from airborne virus, when small particles of infectious virus remain suspended in the air and people inhale them. People can also become infected if they touch an infectious virus on a surface and then touch their own nose, mouth, or eyes.
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever, shortness of breath, and new loss of taste or smell. Some people with mild cases may have no symptoms at all yet still can spread the virus. Avoiding crowded indoor spaces, improving indoor ventilation, covering your nose and mouth with a face covering, and washing hands often with soap and water can help stop COVID-19 from spreading in the workplace.
COVID-19 PREVENTION PROGRAM
Rancho Santiago Community College District is committed to protecting our employees and preventing the spread of COVID-19 at our workplace. We developed this program to reduce our workers' risk of catching and spreading this virus. We encourage employees to share information about potential COVID-19 hazards at our workplace and assist in evaluating these hazards. We will investigate all workplace illnesses and correct hazards that are identified. We stay informed on the virus presence in our community as well as recommendations made by national and local health agencies. We review and update this plan as necessary. This plan was last reviewed on June 29, 2021.
The District will endeavor to keep this program plan up to date and based on the latest regulations and guidance. However, even if this plan is not updated, we will abide by the latest, in effect regulations and guidance notwithstanding the fact that this plan has not been updated.
DESIGNATION OF RESPONSIBILITY
The Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management has the authority and responsibility for implementing this plan in our workplace. All managers and supervisors are responsible for implementing this plan in their assigned work areas and ensuring employees' questions are answered.
All employees are required to follow the policies and procedures laid out in this plan, use safe work practices, and assist in maintaining a safe work environment.
IDENTIFICATION AND EVALUATION OF COVID-19 HAZARDS
We evaluate our workplace and operations to identify tasks that may have exposure to COVID-19. Assessments include employee interactions with all persons who may be present in the workplace including contractors, vendors, students, and other members of the public.
Particular attention will be paid to areas where people may congregate or come in contact with one another, regardless of whether employees are performing an assigned work task or not. For example: meetings, trainings, entrances, bathrooms, hallways, aisles, walkways, elevators, break or eating areas, and waiting areas.
We will consider how employees and others enter, leave, and travel through the workplace, in addition to addressing stationary work.
Employee Participation - We encourage employees to participate in this evaluation. They can contact their supervisor to share information on potential COVID-19 hazards at our workplace or to assist in evaluating these hazards.
We will evaluate how to maximize ventilation with outdoor air for our indoor spaces and how to increase our units to the highest level of filtration efficiency that is feasible for our building mechanical ventilation system.
CORRECTION OF COVID-19 HAZARDS
We treat all persons, regardless of symptoms or negative test results, as potentially infectious. We select and implement feasible control measures to minimize or eliminate employee exposure to COVID-19. We review orders and guidance on COVID-19 hazards and prevention from the State of California and the local health department, including general information and information specific to our industry, location, and operations. We correct unsafe or unhealthy conditions, work practices, policies, and procedures in a timely manner based on the severity of the hazard.
We inspect periodically to check that controls are effective, to identify unhealthy work conditions or practices, and to ensure compliance with this plan. Any deficiencies are corrected right away, and we update this plan if needed.
Engineering Controls – Equipment and Building Systems to Minimize Exposures
Our engineering controls for COVID-19 include:
· Maximizing outdoor air for ventilation as much as feasible except when EPA's Air Quality Index is greater than 100 or when increasing outdoor air would cause harm to employees, such as excessive heat or cold.
· Evaluating how to increase filtration efficiency to the highest level compatible with the existing ventilation system.
Administrative Controls – Policies, Procedures, and Practices to Minimize Exposure
Our administrative controls for COVID-19 are:
- Screening Employees, Students and Visitors to our facility through the following methods:
Home Screening - Employees self-screen prior to leaving for work.
Self-Screening of Students and Visitors - We have a symptom screening form posted at the entrances to our worksite and ask visitors to self-screen before entering the worksite.
We prohibit any employee or visitor sick with COVID-19 from entering the workplace. Anyone exhibiting any potential symptoms of COVID-19 should leave the worksite and contact their healthcare provider
· Wearing a Face Covering: We provide face coverings to all employees and ensure they are worn when indoors or in vehicles, and by all employees as required by orders from CDPH. The face coverings provided will be cloth or woven material of at least two layers, fit snuggly, have no holes or openings, and completely cover the nose and mouth. With the June 2021 revision of the temporary standard, the definition of “face covering" also includes respirators worn voluntarily. Face coverings must be clean and undamaged. Face coverings are not respiratory protection.
When employees are required to wear a face covering, the following exceptions will apply:
- When an employee is alone in a room or vehicle.
- While eating or drinking at the workplace, provided employees are at least six feet apart and outside air supply to the area has been maximized to the extent feasible.
- When employees are required to wear respirators and in accordance with Section 5144.
- When employees cannot wear face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or disability. This includes a hearing-impaired person or someone using sign language to communicate. Employees exempted from wearing a face covering due to medical conditions, mental health conditions, or disability must wear an effective non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom that we will provide, if their condition or disability allows.
- When a specific task cannot be performed with a face covering. This exception is limited to the time period in which such tasks are being performed.
Employees not wearing a face covering, face shield with drape, or respirator, for any reason, will stay at least six feet away from all other people in the workplace unless they are fully vaccinated or tested at least weekly for COVID-19 during paid time and at no cost to the employee. We will not use these physical distancing or testing provisions as an alternative to face coverings when they are otherwise required by Section 3205.
Signs are posted at the entrance to the workplace to communicate face coverings requirements for any non-employees entering the workplace. We provide face coverings to members of the public if necessary.
· Practicing Good Hygiene. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer stations and hand hygiene signage are placed throughout the workplace. Custodians are responsible for ensuring hand hygiene stations are readily accessible and stocked with soap and paper towels, or sanitizer.
· Cleaning and Disinfecting Frequently. Surfaces, especially frequently touched surfaces, will be cleaned on a regular basis. Indoor areas, materials, and equipment that will be used by another employee within 24-hours of use by a COVID-19 case will be disinfected with products that meet the EPA's criteria for use against coronavirus. Disinfectants are used according to manufacturer's directions. Employees are trained on the hazards of the disinfectants, to use only in well-ventilated areas, any PPE that is required, and to never mix chemicals.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Equipment Worn by Employees to Minimize Exposure
Respirators for voluntary use will be provided upon request in the following situations:
- For all employees working indoors or in vehicles who are not fully vaccinated.
Any PPE used to protect from COVID-19, such as gowns, face masks, and gloves, is selected based on function, fit, and availability. Employees are trained when and why PPE is necessary, how to properly put on and take off PPE, and how to clean, maintain, and store reusable PPE. Job hazard assessments are performed by supervisors to identify any PPE required for a specific job. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that adequate supplies of PPE are available.
We will make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during paid time to employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated. COVID-19 testing will be made available to employees who have close contact in the workplace as outlined in the INVESTIGATING AND RESPONDING TO COVID-19 CASES IN THE WORKPLACE section below.
INVESTIGATING AND RESPONDING TO COVID-19 CASES IN THE WORKPLACE
Illness at the Workplace
We investigate all COVID-19 cases in the workplace. Our investigation includes seeking information from employees on COVID-19 cases and close contacts, obtaining information on COVID-19 test results and symptom onset, identifying and recording COVID-19 cases, and reporting when required by the regulations.
We will not reveal any personally identifiable information or employee medical information to any person or entity unless required by law (such as Cal/OSHA, local health department, and local law enforcement).
Employees must alert their supervisor if they are having symptoms of COVID-19, had close contact with a COVID-19 case, were diagnosed with COVID-19, or are awaiting test results. We do not discriminate or retaliate against employees for reporting positive test results or symptoms.
Following notification of a positive test/diagnosis, we will immediately take the following actions:
1. Determine the day and time the COVID-19 case was last present at the workplace, the date of the positive test/diagnosis, and the date the COVID-19 case first experienced symptoms.
2. Determine who may have had close contact with the COVID-19 case by reviewing the case's activities during the high-risk period. The high-risk period for persons who develop symptoms is from two days before they first develop symptoms until 10 days after symptoms first appeared and 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved. The high-risk period for persons who test positive but never develop symptoms is from two days before until 10 days after their first positive test for COVID-19 was collected.
3. Within one business day of knowing, or should have known, of a positive test/diagnosis, the Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management will notify in writing all employees and other employers who were at the worksite during the high-risk exposure period, that they may have been exposed. The notice will include our disinfection plan. When providing notice under this section, we will not disclose the identity of the infected person(s).
4. Within one business day of knowing, or should have known, of a positive test/diagnosis, the Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management will provide notice required by Labor Code section 6409.6(a)(2) and (c) to the authorized representative of any employee at the worksite during the high-risk exposure period.
5. We will make COVID-19 testing available to our employees who had close contact with the COVID-19 case at no cost during working hours, and information on COVID-19 related benefits, with the following exceptions:
- Employees who were fully vaccinated prior to close contact and do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
- COVID-19 cases who have met the return to work criteria and remain symptom free for 90 days after the initial onset of symptoms or the first positive test for asymptomatic cases.
NOTE – Fully vaccinated or recovered COVID-19 cases listed above will have testing made available to them if they develop symptoms following close contact in the workplace.
6. Investigate whether any workplace factors contributed to the infection and how to further reduce that potential exposure.
We will provide information about COVID-19 related benefits at the time of excluding an employee from the workplace due to becoming a COVID-19 case or having close contact. Confidentiality will be maintained at all times.
We keep a record of and track all COVID-19 cases to include: employee's name, contact information, occupation, location where the employee worked, the date of the last day at the workplace, and the date of a positive COVID-19 test. This information is kept confidential.
Disinfection after Positive Test/Diagnosis
If it has been less than 24 hours since the COVID-19 positive employee has been in the facility, we will close off any areas used by the sick individual and thoroughly clean and disinfect. If greater than 24 hours will pass before the area is accessed by others, the routine cleaning procedures will be followed.
Exclusion from the Workplace
The following employees will be excluded from the workplace:
· Employees who test positive for COVID-19 until the Return to Work criteria in the next section are met.
· Employees that have had close contact with the COVID-19 case until the Return to Work criteria in the next section are met. This will not apply to the following:
- Employees who were fully vaccinated prior to close contact and do not develop COVID-19 symptoms.
- COVID-19 cases who have met the return to work criteria and remain symptom free for 90 days after the initial onset of symptoms or the first positive test for asymptomatic cases.
Employees excluded from work due to a positive test/diagnosis from workplace close contact, or identified as having close contact in the workplace, will have their earnings, wages, seniority, and all other rights and benefits maintained by the District. Wages during exclusion will be paid at the regular rate of pay on the regular pay day for the pay period.
Return to Work
Criteria for returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19 are as follows:
- Employees who tested positive and had symptoms can return to work when:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms began, AND
- At least 24 hours have passed with no fever (100.4°F or above) without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
- Other COVID-19 symptoms have improved.
- Employees who test positive but never have symptoms can return to work:
- After at least 10 days have passed since the date of positive specimen collection.
- Employees who had close contact can return to work:
- After 10 days have passed since their last known close contact if they never develop symptoms.
- If symptoms develop, all of the following must be met:
- Negative PCR COVID-19 test taken after onset of symptoms, AND
- At least 10 days have passed since last known close contact, AND
- The employee has been symptom-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
- Employees who have completed the required time to isolate, quarantine, or exclude ordered by a local or state health official can return to work. If the exclusion time period was not specified, one of the symptom based criteria above will be used to determine when to return to work.
REPORTING, RECORDKEEPING, AND ACCESS
Reporting to the Local Health Department (LHD) – This requirement also complies with AB 685.
Within 48-hours of knowledge, the Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management will notify the Orange County Health Care Agency of any workplace outbreak of COVID-19. An outbreak reportable to our LHD is defined as at least three COVID-19 cases among workers at the same worksite within a 14-day period. We will work with the LHD to carry out contact tracing and follow all LHD recommendations including temporary closure of our business if advised.
Reporting to our Claims Administrator – SB 1159
the Director of Workplace Safety and Risk Management will report to our workers' compensation carrier when an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This report will be made within three days of knowledge of an employee's positive test result.
We will report any serious COVID-19 illness that required inpatient hospitalization or resulted in death to our local Cal/OSHA office as soon as possible, but in no case more than eight hours after knowledge.
The District maintains records of the steps taken to implement this written program. These records include but are not limited to training, inspections, hazard identification, etc.
We keep a record of and track all COVID-19 cases. These records include the employee's:
· Contact information
· Location where the employee worked
· Date of the last day at the workplace
· Date of positive COVID-19 test
All medical information will be kept confidential. The log of COVID cases, with names and contact information removed, will be made available to employees, authorized employee representatives, or as otherwise required by law.
This program will be made available at the workplace to employees, authorized employee representatives, and to representatives of Cal/OSHA.
We ask all employees to confidentially report, without fear of discrimination or retaliation, any symptoms, potential exposures, and possible hazards relating to COVID-19 at the workplace. Employees should make these reports to their supervisor.
If an employee is suspected of having a workplace exposure to COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is not fully vaccinated, we will provide information about access to COVID-19 testing at no cost and during paid work hours. We will also provide information about testing to vaccinated employees who develop COVID-19 symptoms after a close contact
We communicate information about COVID-19 hazards and our COVID-19 policies and procedures to employees and other employers, persons, and entities that come in contact with our workplace. Other employers must ensure their employees follow our plan or equivalent to ensure protection of both their and our employees.
EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION
We provide all employees training and instruction on the symptoms of COVID-19 illness and exposure control methods in place including:
· Information on how COVID-19 spreads, including airborne and asymptomatic transmission.
· The fact that viral particles can travel more than 6', especially indoors, so physical distancing, face coverings, increased ventilation, and respiratory protection can decrease the spread of COVID-19, but are most effective when used in combination.
· Symptoms of COVID-19.
· The importance of getting a COVID-19 test and staying out of the workplace if you have symptoms.
· The importance of vaccination against COVID-19.
· Information on our COVID-19 policies, how to access COVID-19 testing and vaccination, and the fact that vaccination is effective at preventing COVID-19 – protecting against both transmission and serious illness or death.
· Our symptom screening procedures for employees and all other visitors to the workplace.
· Risk of exposure to COVID-19 on the job.
· The daily cleaning and disinfection schedules and procedures for our workplace.
· Control measures to protect employees from exposure and infection:
- Requiring employees to stay home when sick.
- Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer when handwashing sinks are not readily accessible.
- Conditions that require the use of face coverings at the workplace, the recommendation for people who are not fully vaccinated to wear a face covering if outdoors if 6' of distance between people can't be maintained, and how to request face coverings at the workplace.
- Proper use of a face coverings when required and the fact that a face covering is NOT respiratory protection. Face coverings are source control used to contain infectious particles and protect others; respirators protect the wearer from infectious airborne particles.
- Covering coughs and sneezes.
Acceptable PPE and proper use.
Policies for providing respirators and the right of employees who are not fully vaccinated to request a respirator for voluntary use. When respirators are provided for voluntary use:
- How to properly wear the respirator provided, and
- How to perform a user seal check each time the respirator is donned, and
- Facial hair can interfere with the seal of the respirator and reduce the amount of protection provided.
What to do if they are sick and how to obtain a COVID-19 test.
Information on COVID-19-related leave benefits available.
The contents of this plan.
APPENDIX A - MULTIPLE COVID-19 INFECTIONS AND OUTBREAKS
The following procedures will be followed in addition to our CPP whenever three or more employee COVID-19 cases within an exposed group (as defined in section 3205(b)) have visited our workplace during their high-risk exposure period within a 14-day period. These procedures can be stopped only after no new COVID-19 cases are detected in the exposed group for a 14-day period.
The District will make testing available to employees within the exposed work group at no cost during working hours except for:
- Employees not present during the outbreak period defined above.
- Employees who were fully vaccinated before the outbreak and do not have symptoms.
- COVID-19 cases who have returned to work after meeting the Return to Work criteria and do not develop symptoms for 90 days since their initial symptom onset or first positive test.
This testing will be made available immediately after determination of an outbreak, and then again one week later; negative test results will not change the quarantine, exclusion, or health order status of any individual. Following these two tests, we will make testing available to employees in the exposed group during the defined outbreak period at least once a week, or more frequently if recommended by the LHD. We will provide additional testing as required by the Division in accordance with any special order from Cal/OSHA.
Additional Controls to Correct COVID-19 Hazards
In addition to the controls listed in our CPP, we will do the following:
- Require employees in the exposed group to wear face coverings when indoors or when outdoors and less than 6' from another person unless one of the exceptions to face coverings listed in our CPP applies.
- Notify employees in the exposed group that they can request a respirator for voluntary use if they are not fully vaccinated.
- Evaluate whether to implement physical distancing of at least 6' between people, and where 6' of distance is not feasible whether to use cleanable solid partitions of sufficient size to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
- In buildings or structures with mechanical ventilation, we will maximize the outdoor air supply, and filter recirculated air with MERV 13 or higher efficiency filters if compatible with the ventilation system. If MERV 13 or higher filters are not compatible we will use filters with the highest rating that are compatible. We will further evaluate whether portable or mounted HEPA filtration units or other air cleaning systems would reduce the risk of transmission and if so implement their use where feasible.
Workplace Investigation, Review, and Hazard Correction
We will investigate all workplace illness to determine potential factors in the workplace that could have contributed to the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, we will review our relevant COVID-19 policies, procedures, and controls and we will implement changes needed to prevent further virus spread.
All investigations and reviews will be documented to include:
· Investigation of new or continuing COVID-19 hazards.
· Review of our leave policies and practices, including whether employees are discouraged from staying home when sick.
· Review of our COVID-19 testing policies.
· Investigation of the sufficiency of outdoor air.
· Investigation of the sufficiency of air filtration.
· Investigation into feasibility of physical distancing.
These reviews will be updated every 30 days that this appendix is in effect with new information, new or previously unrecognized COVID-19 hazards, or as necessary. We will make changes based on investigations and reviews to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and consider such actions as moving work tasks outdoors, allowing employees to work remotely, increasing outdoor air supply to our indoor workplaces, improving air filtration to the highest MERV rating compatible with our air handling system, increasing physical distancing as much as feasible, requiring respiratory protection in compliance with section 5144, or other applicable control measures.
APPENDIX B – MAJOR COVID-19 OUTBREAKS
The following procedures will be followed in addition to our CPP and Appendix A – Multiple COVID-19 Infections and Outbreaks, whenever 20 or more employee COVID-19 cases within an exposed group (as defined in section 3205(b)) have visited our workplace during their high-risk exposure period within a 30-day period. These procedures will apply until there are fewer than three COVID-19 cases detected in the exposed group for a 14-day period.
The District will continue to provide testing as described in Appendix A of our CPP except that testing will be made available to all employees in the exposed group, regardless of vaccination status, twice a week or more frequently if recommended by the Local Health Department (LHD).
Additional Controls to Correct COVID-19 Hazards
In addition to the controls listed in our CPP and Appendix A, we will do the following:
- Provide respirators for voluntary use to employees in the exposed group and determine the need for a respiratory protection program or changes to our existing program to address COVID-19 hazards and be in compliance with section 5144.
· Any employee in the exposed work group not wearing a respirator required by the District in compliance with section 5144 will be separated from other people by 6' except when demonstrated to not be feasible or when they are momentarily closer than 6' during movement. When it is not feasible to maintain 6' of distance, individuals will be as far apart as feasible. Methods for physical distancing include:
- Reducing the number of persons in an area at one time (including visitors)
- Visual cues such as signs and floor markings to show employee locations and paths of travel
- Staggered arrival, departure, work, and break times
- Adjusted work processes (such as reducing production speed) to allow greater distance between employees
- Telework or other remote work arrangement
- At workstations such as cash registers, desks, and production lines, where an employee is assigned to work for an extended period of time and physical distancing is not maintained at all times, we will install cleanable solid partitions that will effectively reduce transmission.
- Evaluate whether to halt some or all operations at the workplace until COVID-19 hazards have been corrected.
- Take other control measures deemed necessary by the Division through the Issuance of Order to Take Special Action, in accordance with Title 8 Section 332.3.