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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor And Employment
Agency 25. Safety And Health Codes Board
Chapter 220. Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19
12/3/2021

16VAC25-220-70. Infectious disease preparedness and response plan.

A. The following employers shall develop and implement a written Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan:

1. Employers covered by 16VAC25-220-50; and

2. Employers covered by 16VAC25-220-60 with 11 or more employees. In counting the number of employees, the employer may exclude fully vaccinated employees.

B. The plan and training requirements tied to the plan shall apply to those employees:

1. Covered by 16VAC25-220-50; and

2. Covered by 16VAC25-220-60, unless such employees are fully vaccinated.

C. Employers shall designate a person to be responsible for implementing their plan. The plan shall:

1. Identify the name or title of the person responsible for administering the plan. This person shall be knowledgeable in infection control principles and practices as the principles and practices apply to the facility, service, or operation.

2. Provide for employee involvement in development and implementation of the plan.

3. Consider and address the level of SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease risk associated with various places of employment, the hazards employees are exposed to at those sites, and job tasks employees perform at those sites. Such considerations shall include:

a. Where, how, and to what sources of the SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease might employees be exposed at work, including:

(1) The general public, customers, other employees, patients, and other persons;

(2) Persons suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or those at particularly high risk of COVID-19 infection (e.g., local, state, national, and international travelers who have visited locations with ongoing COVID-19 community transmission and health care employees who have had unprotected exposures to ) suspected or confirmed COVID-19 persons;

(3) Situations where employees work more than one job with different employers and encounter hazards or engage in job tasks that involve potential exposure to sources of the SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease; and

(4) Situations where employees work during higher risk activities involving potentially large numbers of people or enclosed work areas such as at large social gatherings, weddings, funerals, parties, restaurants, bars, hotels, sporting events, concerts, parades, movie theaters, rest stops, airports, bus stations, train stations, cruise ships, river boats, airplanes, etc.

b. To the extent permitted by law, including HIPAA, employees' individual risk factors for severe disease. For example, people of any age with one or more of the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19: chronic kidney disease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant; obesity (body mass index or BMI of 30 or higher); serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; sickle cell disease; or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Also, for example, people with one or more of the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19: asthma (moderate-to-severe); cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain); cystic fibrosis; hypertension or high blood pressure; immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines; neurologic conditions, such as dementia; liver disease; pregnancy; pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues); smoking; thalassemia (a type of blood disorder); type 1 diabetes mellitus; etc. The risk for severe illness from COVID-19 also increases with age.

c. Engineering, administrative, work practice, and personal protective equipment controls necessary to address those risks.

4. Consider and address contingency plans for situations that may arise as a result of outbreaks that impact employee safety and health, such as:

a. Increased rates of employee absenteeism (an understaffed business can be at greater risk for accidents);

b. The need for physical distancing, staggered work shifts, downsizing operations, delivering services remotely, and other exposure-reducing workplace control measures such as elimination and substitution, engineering controls, administrative and work practice controls, and personal protective equipment (e.g., respirators, surgical masks, etc.);

c. Options for conducting essential operations in a safe and healthy manner with a reduced workforce; and

d. Interrupted supply chains or delayed deliveries of safety and health related products and services essential to business operations.

5. Identify infection prevention measures to be implemented:

a. Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing employees, customers, visitors, the general public, and other persons to the place of employment with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide hand sanitizers.

b. Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment.

c. Establish policies and procedures for managing and educating visitors about the infection prevention procedures at the place of employment.

6. Provide for the prompt identification and isolation of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 employees away from work, including procedures for employees to report when they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

7. Address infectious disease preparedness and response with outside businesses, including, but not limited to, subcontractors who enter the place of employment, businesses that provide contract or temporary employees to the employer, and other persons accessing the place of employment to comply with the requirements of this chapter and the employer's plan.

8. Identify the mandatory and non-mandatory recommendations in any CDC guidelines or Commonwealth of Virginia guidance documents the employer is complying with, if any, in lieu of a provision of this chapter, as provided for in 16VAC25-220-10 E.

Statutory Authority

§ 40.1-22 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. January 27, 2021; amended, Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 3, eff. September 8, 2021.

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