Coronavirus Update: Businesses Ordered to Screen Employees

After confirming 12 additional cases of COVID-19 in a single day, the Fresno County Department of Public Health is ordering businesses to screen employees for “febrile respiratory illness” on a daily basis.

The order was made to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Febrile Respiratory illness is defined as a “new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever (temperature 100.4 degrees or higher) or chills in the past 24 hours,” according to the U.S. Library of Medicine.

The screening requires employees to fill out a daily checklist, which contains questions about whether they are experiencing a fever, coughing, sore throat or runny nose. The checklist also asks employees if they have recently been in close with a suspected or known COVID-19 patient.

Businesses are required to report employees with Febrile Respiratory illness to the FCDPH the same day they are evaluated. Employees who show symptoms must be excluded from work for seven days from the day they were screened and are required to notify all close contacts to quarantine themselves for 14 days from the last time they were in contact.

Employees who report repertory illness symptoms are required to isolate themselves for seven days from the time of screening.

The order also requires medical providers to report all patients with febrile respiratory illness to the public health branch of the Health and Human Services Agency on a daily basis.

When reporting febrile respiratory illness cases, medical providers must include information such as demographics, age, residential address and whether COVID-19 testing was conducted.

Patients who show symptoms will be directed to self-quarantine for seven days after the onset of symptoms or three days after their fever subsides.

Failure to obey a doctor’s order to self-quarantine is now considered a misdemeanor, according to the FCDPH order.

The order applies to all of Fresno County, including Clovis

COVID-19 cases surged over the weekend, as the FCDPH confirmed 43 cases as of March 28.

Four of the cases were community-spread, four were spread person-to-person, 16 were travel related and 19 are under investigation. The department is currently monitoring 376 individuals for COVID-19 and conducted 165 of 325 COVID-19 tests in the county to date. There are 87 tests still pending.