COVID-19 critical infrastructure sector response planning
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Up-to-date Information

Up-to-Date Info: To find the latest CDC information on this topic go to:

COVID-19 critical infrastructure sector response planning

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    • Description:
      Updated Nov. 16, 2020

      To ensure the continuity of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue working following potential exposure to a person with confirmed COVID-19, under certain circumstances. Critical infrastructure workers conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing operational functions. This interim guidance is intended to assist with the assessment of risk and application of work restrictions for critical infrastructure workers who may have had exposure to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, but are not experiencing symptoms and have not tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Separate guidance is available for healthcare personnel, international travelers, and individuals with community-related exposure.

      Summary of Changes

      Below are changes as of November 16, 2020

      • Public health recommendations have been updated to accommodate new scientific evidence, evolving epidemiology, and the need to simplify the assessment of risk. Updated recommendations are based on:

      o Growing evidence of transmission risk from infected people without symptoms (asymptomatic) or before the onset of recognized symptoms (pre-symptomatic);

      o Ongoing community transmission in many parts of the country;

      o A need to communicate effectively to the general public;

      o Continued focus on reducing transmission through social distancing and other personal prevention strategies.

      • Combined “Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19” and “COVID-19 Critical Infrastructure Sector Response Planning” documents to consolidate and clarify this information.

      • Clarified that reintegrating exposed critical infrastructure workers who are not experiencing any symptoms and have not tested positive back into onsite operations should be used as a last resort and only in limited circumstances, such as when cessation of operation of a facility may cause serious harm or danger to public health or safety.

      • Added that employers are encouraged to work with state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) public health officials to determine the safest way to reintegrate exposed workers who are not experiencing any symptoms and have not tested positive back into onsite operations.

      • Clarified that all workers should wear a cloth mask in accordance with CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance and any state or local requirements.

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