WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would be releasing guidance on how critical infrastructure workers can return to their jobs after potential exposure to the virus.
The president’s statement followed earlier reports that the CDC was considering easing guidelines so Americans who have been exposed but show no symptoms can to return to work.
Under the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have been exposed to someone who was infected would be allowed back to work if they are asymptomatic, take their temperature twice a day and wear a face mask, said a person familiar with the proposal under consideration. The person described the proposal on the condition of anonymity because the draft had not been finalized.
Robert R. Redfield, director of the CDC, then discussed the following guidelines:
If you are an essential critical worker who has been exposed to COVID-19:
-Take your temperature
-Wear a face mask at all times
-Practice social distancing in the workplace as work duties permit
-Stay at work if you become sick
-Share headsets or objects used near face
-Congregate in the break room or other crowded places
If you are an employer of workers exposed to COVID-19:
-Take employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to their starting work.
-If an employee becomes sick during the day, send them home immediately.
-Test the use of face masks to ensure they do not interfere with workflow.
-Increase air exchange in the building.
-Increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces.
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The new CDC guidelines come as the nation mourns some 13,000 deaths from the virus and grapples with a devastated economy and medical crises from coast to coast. Health experts continue to caution Americans to practice social distancing and to avoid returning to their normal activities. At the same time, though, they are planning for a time when the most serious threat from COVID-19 will be in the country’s rear-view mirror.
In the press briefing, Trump furthered his criticism of the World Health Organization (WHO), noting the discrepancies between the payments the organization receives from the United States and China.
“They have to get their priorities right, everybody has to be treated properly, every country,” Trump said. The president himself has received extensive criticism over his early dismissals of the risk of COVID-19.
When questioned on potential leadership changes within the WHO, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “this is not the time to be doing that kind of change, there will be a lot of time to look back to see how the World Health Organization performed.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this story.