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July 27, 2020

New COVID Workforce Safety Standards Go In Effect In Virginia; What’s Happening In Your State?

The state of Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) recently adopted a proposed Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19, making Virginia the first state with a mandatory COVID-19 workplace safety standard.

The new standard takes effect this week (the week of July 27, 2020.) Employers will be given 60 days “to develop and train employees on their infectious disease preparedness and response plan.”

As Connecting the Dots reported previously, the rules would require “that employers develop policies for workers dealing with coronavirus-like symptoms, while prohibiting those workers suspected of having the coronavirus from showing up to work.” They also would “force companies to notify workers of possible exposure to infected co-workers within 24 hours, while also mandating physical distancing as well as sanitation, disinfection and hand-washing procedures.”

Failure to abide by the law carries penalties up to $124,000 and threat of business closure.

Trying to keep track of other statewide COVID-19 orders? There are several resources available that can help MSCI members and other employers stay on top of what is required of businesses in each state. These include:

  • A state-by-state map of reopening measures offered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC);
  • The National Association of Manufacturers’ COVID-19 state resources page;
  • A list of executive orders compiled by the Council of State Governments;
  • Stateside Associates publishes a daily report about state and local government responses to the evolving situation; and
  • Multistate Associates has a spreadsheet that includes state and local COVID-19 response information.

In Canada, Faeger Drinker LLP is tracking orders in the countries various provinces. Click here for that information.