Businesses consider letting employees with COVID come to work

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:33 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It may be the next step for businesses who are trying to survive during this latest wave of COVID.

Allowing employees who test positive for COVID but have no symptoms to work as long as they are masked up.

It’s a precedent started by the two major health care systems in Toledo earlier this week when they issued new policies allowing employees to work even if they’ve tested positive for COVID and adhere to strict safety protocols.

Employer consultants say it’s in response to the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic. Bob Bethel is the VP for Human Resources for the Employers Association and says “I’ve never seen anything like this. There’s never been a time where virtually every business is affected in one way or the other.”

The Employers Association consults with area businesses on how to negotiate the latest COVID wave which has crippled some. Bethel says “Many of them have had to shorten their hours or close altogether for periods of time.”

One option Bethel sees businesses considering - just like major health care organizations - is allowing people to come to work even if they test positive for COVID but have no major symptoms and mask up. “They’re saying we need people in here we’ll take the risk of allowing people to mask up as long as they’re not seriously ill themselves.”

And Bethel says by law, private companies have the option to do that as long as they weigh that risk carefully. “What is the surrounding circumstance with that individual. How seriously ill are they. How much interaction are they going to have with other people? Can you isolate them? Can they do work from home?”

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