Guidance in the event of a workplace outbreak

The below guidance should be followed in the event of a workplace outbreak (for non-educational establishments). For relevant documents, see the documents at the bottom of this page.

For educational establishments, please consult the Head Teacher guidance for specific information on isolation and public health. All other information on this page is relevant to educational establishments.

Isolation and Testing Procedures

This flowchart advises managers on the steps to take if an employee presents at work displaying symptoms of COVID-19, advises close contact with someone showing symptoms or in the event that Test and Protect have been in touch with the employee. For the flowchart, click here.

This flowchart is a guide. Please ensure that if Test and Protect advise a different course of action, their instruction should be followed. In this case, please make Employee Relations aware.

Public Health Information Gathering Checklist

At the earliest opportunity, please complete the Public Health information gathering checklist which can be found here. Inform your Head of Service and share the detail with them.

Test and Protect Definitions

Please be aware when completing relevant checklists and liaising with Public Health of the below definitions.

Close Contact – close contact is defined as having a person having evidence of the following, during the infective period:

1. Direct contact:

• face to face contact with a case within 1 metre for any length of time, including:

  • being coughed on
  • having a face-to-face conversation
  • having skin-to-skin physical contact

• any contact within 1 metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact

• a person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or in a large vehicle near someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

2. Proximity contact:

• A person who has been between 1 and 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), for more than 15 minutes cumulatively during period 48 hours prior to and 7 days after the case’s symptom onset

Those meeting such criteria will be considered as close contacts, their details obtained, traced and communicated with and asked to self-isolate for 14 days since their last contact with the case

What is the infection period?

For positive Covid-19 cases, it’s either:

  • 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms until 10 days after symptom onset
  • If asymptomatic,  48 hours prior to the time the positive test was taken  until 10 days after  the positive test was taken

Public Health Contacts

When to contact Public Health:

  • If you have been notified that a member of staff has had a positive test result.

How to contact public health:

iTrent reporting

Managers should contact the People Helpdesk using the outbreak email address to ensure iTrent is updated with any cases related to a workplace outbreak.

Please provide details of the employees and employee numbers, along with their category and dates impacted. Use this template to provide the correct detail for cases. The definitions are noted below:

Self Isolation (NLC Outbreak) – This special leave category is for employees who are required to self isolate due to a workplace outbreak but have not had a positive COVID test or any symptoms

COVID Symptoms (Outbreak-Positive) – this sickness absence category if for staff unwell and having tested positive for COVID-19 following a workplace outbreak

COVID Symptoms (Outbreak-Negative) – this sickness absence category if for staff unwell but who have tested negative for COVID-19 following a workplace outbreak.

Staff should also have the result of their test reported on iTrent. You can ask the helpdesk to do this or alternatively see guide here.

Further guidance on all of the COVID related absence categories on iTrent is available here.

Further Mitigating Factors

Services are asked to review their processes to minimise workplace infections. These include:

Default Position – Work from Home

The default position remains that employees who can, should work from home. Services to continue to review who is in buildings and if they require to be so.

Services should also be aware of who is in a building at any given time and movement between offices/workplace locations should be kept at a minimum.

Car Sharing

For services where car sharing is required for service delivery, services to review risk assessments and ensure all required mitigating measures are already in place.  Look to reduce car sharing where they can (H&S will being doing spot checks on transport over the coming weeks)

Face coverings in all NLC locations

Face coverings should be worn in all NLC buildings when accessing/egressing, walking to and from desks/in toilets/corridors etc and in face to face meetings.

Public Health Information Gathering Checklist
Size: 43.05 kb
Date modified: 01-10-2020
Management Guidance Flowchart
Size: 72.95 kb
Date modified: 02-10-2020
COVID 19 ISOLATION flowchart_Non Education Establishments
Size: 118.56 kb
Date modified: 24-02-2021
Size: 12.36 kb
Date modified: 02-10-2020
Updated on 24th December 2020

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