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Worksite Exposure

Note: Employees of the LCB, Attorney General, PGCB, Auditor General and all other agencies not under the Governor's jurisdiction should contact their local HR office for assistance.  

Please note the following guidance may differ for 24/7 operations including correctional facilities, state hospitals and centers, veterans’ homes, and youth development centers, as well as those agencies following CISA’s guidance for critical infrastructure workers. Employees within such operations should continue to follow the guidance issued by their agency.   

In cases where a provision of an approved labor agreement or side letter cannot be reconciled with this policy, the labor agreement or side letter will control.

Page last updated May 12 - 1:00 p.m.

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​I may have been exposed to COVID-19 but am not showing symptoms. Should I report to work? 

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​You should contact your immediate supervisor and seek guidance from your health care provider. Action should be taken based on recommendation from your health care provider.  

​How should I notify my supervisor if I have tested positive for COVID-19? What are the next steps? 

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You should contact your supervisor through your normal channels of communication and advise them that you have tested positive for COVID-19.  Inform your supervisor how long you are required to isolate and discuss the appropriate leave to use. You may be eligible for Emergency Sick Leave under the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. For more information contact the HR Service Center – FMLA Services at 866-377-2672 to obtain guidance on the appropriate leave to use. The COVID-19 Leave Information website is also a source of information available to you. 

Prior to returning to work, you will need a Return to Work Status Form completed by your health care provider and submitted to the HR Service Center – FMLA Services (fax: 717-425-5389 or email: ra-spfabsence@pa.gov). This will document that you have been released to return to work. You should also speak with your supervisor to make arrangements for your return. 




​Should I come to work if someone in my household has COVID-19?  

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If someone in your household is confirmed positive for COVID-19, you should consult with your health care provider on whether you should quarantine for 14 days.   

Consult with your supervisor on the appropriate type of leave to use. You may be eligible for Emergency Sick Leave under the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. For more information contact the HR Service Center – FMLA Services at 866-377-2672 to obtain guidance on the appropriate leave to use. The COVID-19 Leave Information website is also a source of information available to you. 


​If someone in my household tests positive, are my coworkers at risk?  

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Employees who had contact with the person who is now self-quarantining, due to a household exposure, should continue to monitor their own health. Because it is not a direct exposure, there are no necessary immediate actions. 

​What leave should be used if an employee meets screening guidance to be sent home, but has not tested positive for COVID-19, been in contact with a known positive case, or traveled from a restricted area? 

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​If during the screening process, you exhibit symptoms, but have not been tested, you will be sent home and advised to seek medical attention. Consult with your supervisor on the leave that may be available to you. You may be eligible for Emergency Sick Leave under the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. For more information contact the HR Service Center – FMLA Services at 866-377-2672 to obtain guidance on the appropriate leave to use. The COVID-19 Leave Information website is also a source of information available to you.

Return to Work Status Form (provided to you at the health screening) must be completed by your health care provider and submitted to the HR Service Center – FMLA Services Unit (Fax: 717-425-5389 or email: ra-spfabsence@pa.gov. This will document that you have been released to return to work. You should also speak with your supervisor to make arrangements for your return.

​If I have symptoms and I am asked to go home, do I need to use leave? 

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​If you are showing symptoms and are asked to go home, you will need to use leave. Consult with your supervisor on the appropriate type of leave to use. You may be eligible for Emergency Sick Leave under the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. For more information contact the HR Service Center – FMLA Services at 866-377-2672 to obtain guidance on the appropriate leave to use. The COVID-19 Leave Information website is also a source of information available to you.

​Do I need a doctor’s note to self-quarantine? Do supervisors have to approve all requests to self-quarantine?  

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You should have a justifiable reason to self-quarantine, such as direct exposure to COVID-19 or travel from a restricted area. Documentation from your health care provider will be required to confirm the need for you to quarantine. Consult with your supervisor on the appropriate type of leave to use. You may be eligible for Emergency Sick Leave under the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. For more information contact the HR Service Center – FMLA Services at 866-377-2672 to obtain guidance on the appropriate leave to use. The COVID-19 Leave Information website is also a source of information available to you.

​Will I be notified if a coworker is diagnosed with COVID-19? 

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You will be informed if someone in your worksite tests positive for COVID-19, but you will not be told their name. Management or a supervisor should talk with the employee who tests positive about coworkers who may have had close contact.  

You will be notified if you may have had close contact with someone at the worksite who tested positive for COVID-19. Again, the employee’s identity will not be disclosed out of respect for their privacy and in accordance with requirements to protect personal health information. 


​If a coworker leaves the office with symptoms, what should other employees do? 

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Symptoms are not necessarily indicative of a positive case of COVID-19.   

You should practice the preventative measures outlined by the CDC and DOH and monitor your own health. If an employee has been designated as a positive COVID-19 case, you will be notified if you may have had close contact with that employee and if so, you should consult with your health care provider. Close contact within the work setting is defined as:  
  • Interaction with the positive case from 48 hours before symptom onset to the time the individual was removed from the workplace, and 
  • Being within approximately six feet of a positive COVID-19 case for 10 minutes or more. 

​If a coworker leaves the office with symptoms, will the office be closed, and will additional cleaning be done? 

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​In most instances, the office will not be closed since enhanced cleaning will occur in the employee’s immediate workspace as well as those areas where the employee frequented.  

​Will employees need to undergo health screenings at the start and end of the workday?

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Once implemented, health screening will occur at the beginning of employee shifts, but not at the end of the workday. The screenings will take place at worksites that have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19, and in some instance, may include temperature screening. 

​Who will be responsible for ensuring that all employees are being screened? 

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​Health screening stations will be staffed by supervisors or managers, or other designated staff. 

​Will time be granted to employees for health screenings?

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​You should plan to arrive before the start of your shift in order to be screened. Please be patient with staff conducting screenings.  You will not be required to submit leave if you are tardy due to health screening procedures. 

​Who will ensure that all employees are complying with health screening?

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​Agencies will review each worksite to determine the most appropriate entrance location(s) to conduct health screenings and inform employees which entrances they are to use.  

​Can I refuse a health screening?

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Health screening is intended to help prevent potential spread of COVID-19 to you and your coworkers.  
 
Employees who refuse to be screened will be sent home and required to use leave for the remainder of the shift.  Continued refusal to comply with health screening may result in corrective action, up and including removal from employment.

What if my temperature is 100.4 Fahrenheit or higher or I have COVID-19 symptoms?

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You should not report to work if you have a temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit or higher or if you have COVID-19 symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing medical condition.  If you report to work, you may be instructed to return home and contact your health care provider for further assistance.  You will also be provided with​ a Referral to Medical Services Notice and a Return to Work Status Form.  

You should contact your supervisor to call off work and obtain guidance on what type of leave to use for your absence. You may be eligible for Emergency Sick Leave under the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. For more information contact the HR Service Center – FMLA Services at 866-377-2672 to obtain guidance on the appropriate leave to use. The COVID-19 Leave Information website is also a source of information available to you.

 Your health care provider will certify your readiness to return to work by completing the Return to Work Status Form. This form is to be returned to the HR Service Center – FMLA Services (fax: 717-425-5389 or email: ra-spfabsence@pa.gov). 

​I have allergies. Can I be required to stay home because I have symptoms that mirror COVID-19? 

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​No. If your worksite is health screenings, please notify the screener that you have a medical condition that causes symptoms such as runny nose or cough.  Allergies and other illnesses like asthma and COPD are chronic conditions unrelated to COVID-19.