ARL Covid-19 Risk Management Plan and Policy
ARL is accountable for the safety of our team members on site and off-site. Our current policy is in line with the CDC’s new rules on Covid prevention and contact tracing. We continue to stay current on CDC and state public health guidelines to protect our team members, partners, and business operations. We strive to train our team members to be responsible in their personal behavior and uphold our safety values. This is our priority.
The following risk management and preventative measures are in place:
- Remote Work. ARL has created a work environment conducive to remote work. This is an additional layer of protection to our team members. We require remote work or teleworking, whenever possible, to reduce the risk of Covid-19 exposure and transmission. Team members working remotely are also required to follow reasonable measures to protect from contagion.
- Staggered Shifts. Essential team members who work onsite have staggered shifts, whenever possible, to reduce crowding and ensure maximum space for proper physical distancing.
- Adjustment of Work Stations. Work-stations are rearranged on-site to allow for physical distancing of at least six feet.
- Safety Training. All employees are trained in ARL’s pandemic response plan through frequent hands-on education, such as safety training on disinfection, proper mask-wearing, physical distancing, and reporting procedures.
- Covid Paid Leave. To ensure team members do not report to work on-site when exhibiting any Covid-related symptoms or when potentially exposed to Covid-19, ARL offers paid leave for both hourly and salaried team members. ARL has provided a maximum of 2 weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid leave to employees each time there is a reported and substantiated proof of exposure and testing. This is offered regardless of changes in legislation. We do it to protect our team, not because we are required by law to do so. A full-time employee is eligible for up to 80 hours of leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period. No one is to return to work following a potential exposure without the required quarantine timeline specified and a negative confirmatory test result obtained.
- Negative Test Confirmation. ARL requires a negative test result after the required quarantine period in order to return to work. Additionally, team members tested positive for Covid-19 must also be symptom-free for at 72 hours without medication. Whenever free testing is unavailable, ARL covers the cost of confirmatory tests.
- Constant Disinfection (Pre- and Post Use). Disinfection is already required in laboratory areas at all times. However, team members are also personally required to disinfect work areas before and after use for added precaution.
- Approved Masks. Masks are required at all times in the facility. KN95 masks are required for team members within closer proximity in the laboratory. All other team members may use 3-ply surgical masks, but no less. New masks are used each time an employee enters the facility, or whenever an existing masks is removed.
- Temperature and Exposure Checks. Temperature checks and exposure surveys are reported by all team members at the time of on-site check-in. Team members who experience any deviation from normal temperature or health conditions must go home immediately and will not be allowed into the facility.
- Accessibility to Sanitizers. Sanitizers are set up at all entrances, offices, and even our courier vehicles.
- Professional Cleaning. In addition to disinfection by team members, ARL has contracted a professional cleaning crew to sanitize and clean the facility mid-week and at the end of the week.
- Immediate Contact Tracing. Contact tracing is initiated immediately. Team members who may have been exposed to Covid-19 will be sent home immediately and will be required to test for Covid-19 and follow quarantine requirements set by the CDC. Affected team members will isolate for one week from time of exposure prior to taking a Covid-19 test. The one-week timeline is based on medical advice that false negatives are common if an individual is tested within 5 days of exposure. The contact tracing rules apply to (1) team members who may have worked within six feet of an infected co-worker, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes during any 24-hour period in the 48 hours prior to when the sick individual showed symptoms, or (2) if someone is asymptomatic, the evaluation includes the 48 hours before the COVID-19 test was administered. The bottom line is this: An employee who is exposed to another for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period in the 48 hours prior to symptom onset or reported exposure would be required to quarantine and abide by ARL policy on qualification to return to work.
- Limited Use of Break Room. ARL’s break room allows one dining table per team member, and only up to three team members in the break room at any time. Sanitizing protocols must be followed per use.
- Visitors. Only essential visitors or contractors are allowed on-site. All check-in protocols and preventative measures apply.
Our extensive and vigilant measures demonstrate ARL’s commitment to being a responsible, accountable global citizen. We believe that in order to protect our economy, we must first protect the most important elements that sustain it: our team members, our community, and our business operations.