Frequently Asked Questions
Click on each question below for the answer.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new virus (not seen previously) that causes a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Want to learn more, see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) poster titled What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Symptoms (e.g., fever over 100.4◦F, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches or pain, runny nose) can appear in 2-14 days after exposure to an ill individual. Regardless how mild (even if you believe you can push through and continue to work), if you develop these symptoms, contact your medical provider or use the CDC Coronavirus Self Checker to seek additional directions. Not every individual will be tested for COVID-19 and the diagnosis may be made after an assessment by a healthcare provider. The CDC webpage, What to do if You Are Sick, provides additional items you can do if you or family member becomes ill.
- Anyone can become ill regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or gender
- For most individuals, the risk of developing a serious illness is low
- Medical providers and the local public health will let ill individuals know when they can no longer spread COVID-19
- There are simple things you can do to keep yourself and others healthy
- Know the signs and symptoms
- Stay home if you are ill and avoid contact with ill individuals
- Clean your hands with either traditional soap and water or use hand sanitizer or rub
- Cover your cough or sneeze but not with your hands
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with uncleaned hands
- Keep physical distancing of 6 feet away from others
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
- Wear a face covering when in public
Multiple resources are available to provide additional information including:
- The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America outlines 30 Days to Slow the Spread
- Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) poster to Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family and Community
- The CDC Stop the Spread of Germs
- NCSRCC on-demand video series: Tips for Staying Healthy
The CDC provides Recommendation Strategies for Employers to use Now and the NCSRCC has compiled these recommendations into an Employer Checklist for easy reference. The Employer Checklist is also available in Spanish.
The NCSRCC understands the need to work and the importance of keeping up to date so we created the Coronavirus Updates for NCSRCC members page. Check back frequently as we continue to post important information and resources from our partners and our internal experts including the NCSRCC COVID-19 Priorities.
Picking up COVID-19 from a surface with your hands and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth is considered a much smaller threat than exposure to a cough or sneeze. To reduce this risk, a clean work site is a safer work environment. Cleaning (physically remove germs, grim, dirt, chemicals) must be done before disinfection (kills the remaining germs on the surface). Always follow the manufacture label, recommendations for PPE, and verify the product is not expired. The CDC recommends we continue to use our normal disinfection products at this time but if we can clean/disinfect more frequently, we can reduce the risk of spread. Steps needed to clean and disinfect are explained and demonstrated in the NCSRCC on-demand video: Cleaning and Disinfection.
NCSRCC has many ready to use documents for contractors, foreman, construction project managers, and workers to help keep all individuals safe on the work site. This includes Contractors #STOPTHESPREAD by Keeping You Safe and COVID-19 Checklist for Construction Site. Both documents take general recommendations for the public and community and apply it to our industry. Your state based Associated General Contractors (AGC) chapter or other Construction. Employer associations may also have additional resources. The Construction Site Checklist is also available in Spanish.
Yes. It is recommended that contractors use various methods to keep social distancing on worksites, including limiting the number of people on the job site at a given time, not stacking trades, staggering work shifts and hours, staggering the use of shared space, staggering entry and exit, and a reduction of hours if necessary.
Physical distancing is a challenge for all construction sites regardless of the size. Contractors, Foremen/Construction Managers, and individuals all need to work together to provide a safe environment and the COVID-19 Checklist for a Construction Site (also available in Spanish) is an excellent resource with suggestions including:
- Prohibit large gatherings that exceed 10 individuals
- Limit number of individuals on the site
- Limit tasks to what is strictly necessary
- Don’t stack trades
- Reconfigure break spaces for greater distance between individuals (e.g., remove tables or chairs)
- Stagger shifts and breaks to limit to 10 individuals
- Stagger use of skip, elevator, stairwell volumes for entry and exit
- Conduct workflow audits and problem solve solutions to increase physical distancing
- Do not congregate on the worksite or typically shared spaces (e.g., lunch or break room)
- Maintain 6 feet between you and co-workers during discussions
When two or more individuals are required to complete a task safely and can’t be accomplished with 6-foot distancing:
- Limit close contact to 10-minute or less intervals
- Consider wind direction
- Avoid face-to-face posturing
- Use eye with side protection and a mask or covering.
Each contractor can decide what is best on their site and can implement measures even beyond individual state or CDC recommendations. The additional measures are a means to prevent the spread and keep the job site safe. Measures observed include:
- COVID-19 or pandemic plans, response teams and plans
- Toolbox talks or morning briefings about COVID-19 prevention methods
- Health screenings upon entering site – keep in mind Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) access to employee exposure and medical recordsrequirements still apply
- Adding additional hygiene stations
- Adding additional cleaning/disinfection either at the beginning, middle, or end of the day
- Mandates as required by individual states
Based upon the CDC screening recommendations, the NCSRCC has a recorded message on the MIX 2020 stating that if they accept the job, they do not have any potential or known illness or exposure to COVID in their community or during travel.
After self-isolating, individuals should seek medical directions from their primary provider, local public health, or the CDC Coronavirus Self Checker for additional directions. The CDC webpage, What to do if You Are Sick, is an excellent reference and provides additional items you can do if you or a family member becomes ill. Individuals should always follow guidance from state or local public health authorities.
Yes, your supervisor will let you know if you have potentially been exposed at work. All individuals defined as a probable (not tested but symptoms are consistent) or confirmed (tested positive) are interviewed by the local public health in order to determine the period of time which the individual could have exposed others and spread the germs (period of communicability). If the individual indicates they were working during this time, their employer will be contacted. The employer will collect information regarding the physical location and who they may have had contact while at work. This list is then provided to the public health department and the public health agency (or designee) will then notify individuals of the potential exposure. All individuals are to follow directions given by the local public health agency including if directed to self-isolate, self-monitor, or self-quarantine. COVID-19 Potential Work Site Scenarios can be used as a guide if concerns arise. Not all individuals will be tested for COVID-19. CDC Priorities for Testing Patients with Suspected COVID-19 Infection can be found here. State Public Health also offer resources titled, What Should I Do Infographic After Close Contract or You Are Being Tested for COVID-19, Now What?
If confirmed by local public health, employers are to complete a “deep clean” at the work site using an EPA disinfectant effective against Coronavirus. As these products may be difficult to locate due to the high demand, an alternative is a bleach and water dilution of 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon or water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water for hard surfaces. Allow to sit wet for at least one minute and air dry. Soft surfaces can be washed/dried after spot cleaning (if needed) followed by a surface disinfectant. NCSRCC on-demand video: Cleaning and Disinfection talks more about these steps as well NCSRCC COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection for the Work Site is a summary of steps as directed by the CDC Cleaning and Disinfection for Your Facility webpage. WI Department of Public Health also has a Cleaning and Disinfection After a Confirmed COVID-19 Case Infographic too. The CDC does not recommend any additional cleaning if the ill individual has not been at the site for the past seven days.
Self-isolation is used for individual who are either test positive or diagnosed with COVID-19. These individuals cannot return to work until they have met the CDC recommendations for ending isolation. Self-quarantine is used when an individual who does not have symptoms but has been exposed for a prolong period of time (e.g., 15 minutes or more without a physical barrier) to and individual who has either tested positive or was diagnosed with COVID-19. South Dakota Public Health Infographic titled, What Should I Do Infographic After Close Contact is an excellent resource. If you do not have symptoms nor have you had close contact with a case, you could be moved to another job site.
Yes, NCSRCC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Exposure or Confirmation protocol is based upon CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. Institutions of Higher Education, Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposures: Geographic Risk and Contacts of Laboratory-confirmed Cases as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. To request a copy, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know as new information arrives; new questions tend to follow as knowledge is the key to successfully preventing the spread. NCSRCC has an on-demand video Answering Common Work Site COVID-19 Questions based upon previous submission. NCSRCC members can also submit questions to our Infection Preventionist at email@example.com.
We know from scientific studies that COVID-19 is being spread from individual who do not have symptoms. In order to prevent droplets dispelling into the air during conversations, coughing, sneezing or even singing, the mask collects the droplets on the inside of the covering. The CDC recommends wearing fabric cloth face coverings in public settings and many job sites have added this prevention step. The covering is not a substitution for 6 feet physical distancing as both used be used to keep others in your work environment safe. The CDC Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 explains more about face coverings, how to make them, how to wear them, and how to clean them.