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Coronavirus/COVID-19 CWA Recommendations for Workers who Interact with the Public

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General Recommendations for All CWA Members

  • Members experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (which include fever, cough and shortness of breath) should stay home and recover. If you have come down with symptoms or test positive notify your Local union and your employer immediately.

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  • Members deemed at high-risk by their doctor as outlined under CDC guidelines should avoid working outside the home when possible. This includes older adults and those with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems. Members who believe they may be at increased risk of serious complications of COVID-19 should contact their local union and employer to request accommodations.

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  • Members should practice good respiratory hygiene.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
    • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
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  • Members should practice good hand hygiene.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Avoid shaking hands.
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  • Members should practice appropriate physical/social distancing with co-workers and customers, maintaining distances of 6 feet to avoid transmission.

For Members Who Interact with the Public at Work Locations (Including Airports, Retail Stores, Government Offices)

  • Employers should establish policies so that members can maintain appropriate physical/social distance (six feet or more) with customers to reduce risk of transmission.
    • Interaction with any “high touch” surface should be minimized.
    • Avoid direct contact with customers, including handshakes.
    • The exchange of items between customers and members should be minimized.
    • Access points should be established to manage customer access.
    • Employers should maintain crowd controls to minimize overcrowding.
  • Employers should enable members to wash their hands frequently, and as needed. Diligent hand hygiene should be practiced throughout the work shift.
    • Wash your hands frequently and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Employers should provide EPA-approved microbial disinfectants to disinfect doors, surfaces, equipment, and surfaces that could facilitate the transmission of the virus with particular attention paid to “high touch” areas.
    • Work locations should be disinfected regularly, throughout the day.
    • Items that change hands between customers and members should be disinfected, when possible, e.g. sanitizing wipes can be provided for customer use to clean their cell phones.
    • Work procedures should be established to minimize the need for members to handle customer/client items, e.g. such as placement in a tray.
    • Disposable nitrile gloves can be provided for members with appropriate instruction and training on use, removal, and disposal. After removal of gloves, hands should be washed with soap and water.  

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