Adopted by the Board of Trustees on March 18, 2021
Adams Free Library (AFL) will take proactive steps to protect the workplace in the event of an infectious disease outbreak. It is the goal of the AFL during any such time period to strive to operate effectively and ensure that all essential services are continuously provided and that employees are safe within the workplace.
AFL is committed to providing authoritative information about the nature and spread of infectious diseases, including symptoms and signs to watch for, as well as required steps to be taken in the event of an illness or outbreak.
1. Preventing the Spread of Infection in the Workplace
AFL will ensure a clean workplace, including the regular cleaning of objects and areas that are frequently used such as bathrooms, door handles and railings.
We ask all employees to cooperate in taking steps to reduce the transmission of infectious disease in the workplace. The best strategy remains the most obvious – frequent hand washing with warm, soapy water; coving your mouth when you sneeze or cough; discarding used tissues in wastebaskets. We will also install alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout the workplace and in common areas.
Unless otherwise notified, our normal attendance and leave policies will remain in place. Individuals who believe they may face particular challenges reporting to work during an infectious disease outbreak should take steps to develop any necessary contingency plans. For example, employees might want to arrange for alternative sources of child care should schools close and/or speak with supervisors about the potential to work from home temporarily or on an alternate work schedule.
It is up to the discretion of the Board whether or not employees will work from home. If working from home a detailed weekly report or whatever the determined amount of time is must be submitted to the Board during the period the employee is telecommuting.
3. Staying Home When Ill
Many times, with the best of intentions, employees report to work even though they feel ill. Please refer to contract about sick leave.
During an infectious disease outbreak, it is critical that employees do not report to work while they are ill and/or experiencing the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, etc. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with an infectious illness such as the flu remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Employees who report to work ill will be sent home in accordance with these health guidelines.
4. Requests for Medical Information and/or Documentation
If you are out sick or show symptoms of being ill, it may become necessary to request information from you and/or your health care provider. In general, we would request medical information to confirm your need to be absent, to show whether and how an absence relates to the infection, and to know that it is appropriate for you to return to work. As always, we expect and appreciate your cooperation if and when medical information is sought.
5. Confidentiality of Medical Information
Our policy is to treat any medical information as a confidential medical record. In furtherance of this policy, any disclosure of medical information is in limited circumstances with supervisors, managers, first aid and safety personnel and government officials as required by law.
6. Social Distancing Guidelines for Workplace Infectious Disease Outbreaks
In the event of an infectious disease outbreak, AFL may implement these social distancing guidelines to minimize the spread of disease among the staff.
During the workday, employees are requested to:
- Avoid meeting people face-to-face. Employees are encouraged to use the telephone, online conferencing, email, or instant messaging to conduct business as much as possible, even when participants are in the same building.
- If a face-to-face meeting is unavoidable, minimize the meeting time, choose a large meeting room and sit at least one-yard from each other if possible; avoid person-to-person contact such as shaking hands.
- Avoid any unnecessary travel and cancel or postpone nonessential meetings, gatherings, workshops and training sessions.
- Do not congregate in areas where people socialize.
- Bring lunch and eat at your desk, or away from others (avoid lunchrooms and crowded restaurants).
- Encourage members and others to request information and orders via phone and email in order to minimize person-to-person contact. Have the orders, materials and information ready for fast pick-up or delivery.
Employees might be encouraged to the extent possible to:
- Avoid public transportation (walk, cycle, drive a car) or go early or late to avoid rush-hour crowding on public transportation.
- Avoid recreational or other leisure classes, meetings, activities, etc, where employees come into contact with contagious people.