The change in guidelines for fully vaccinated people is a welcome relief for many, but it creates new challenges for employers. Employers must now keep track of vaccination status in order to establish safety protocols. To help navigate these changes, we put together steps employers can take to manage a mixed immunity workforce.
4 steps to manage a mixed immunity workplace
Stay ahead of local, state, and federal guidelines
Know the vaccination status of your employees.
Update your safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.
Stay in tune with the COVID-19 risk status in your community
Updated Safety Protocols for Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Employees at the Workplace
Employees who have been fully vaccinated will return to a new normal.
Before updating safety protocols employers must review their state and local guidelines. This guidance may differ from the CDC or ReturnSafe guidance. We are happy to customize our solution based on local requirements.
The New CDC Guidance Under the new CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to do the following:
Wear a mask indoors or outside
Practice social distancing
ReturnSafe’s Guidance We agree with CDC guidance that fully vaccinated individuals no longer must wear a mask or practice social distancing at the workplace.
Q: What if fully vaccinated employees are symptomatic? A: Breakthrough cases have happened and could spread the virus at the workplace. If fully vaccinated employees have symptoms, we recommend they work from home, complete the health screener, and get tested for COVID-19. If they test positive, administrators should follow the case management isolation workflow.
Q: What if fully vaccinated employees are exposed to COVID-19? A: Fully vaccinated employees who are exposed to COVID-19 do not have to quarantine unless they are symptomatic
Unvaccinated employees should continue following safety measures.
Employees who are not vaccinated or are not yet fully vaccinated must continue to screen, test, isolate, and quarantine per CDC, state, and local guidance.
ReturnSafe Guidance We recommend employers establish the following safety protocols for unvaccinated employees.
Daily screening prior to entering the facility
A testing program, testing frequency depends on local COVID-19 infection rates and the organization’s outbreak risk tolerance
Administrators should go through the case management workflow for anyone who is symptomatic and/or tests positive for COVID-19
ReturnSafe Joins UKG Partner Network
Excited to collaborate with Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) to bring employees back to physical workspaces with confidence! Read more
How Strake Jesuit kept students safe during the 20′-21′ school year
Strake Jesuit chose ReturnSafe to safely reopen. As schools plan for Fall 2021, find out how they utilized our platform to stay open safely! Read more
Are you looking for screening, contact tracing, testing, case management, and vaccine management tools for your organization?
The CDC’s guidance for fully vaccinated individuals was welcome news for many hoping to return to regular activities with a sense of normalcy. However, the announcement lacked clear guidance to help businesses identify vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals. Businesses are now left to their own devices to establish vaccine tracking protocols and safety measures to accommodate the diverse needs of their mixed immunity workforce. Mixed immunity indicates there are employees with varying degrees of immunity to COVID-19.
Why do you need a vaccine tracking system?
As there is rising controversy over Federal vaccine passports and one does not look likely, employers must establish their own internal system for identifying the vaccination status of employees and patrons. Businesses must track this information so they can identify who, at their workplace, can bypass safety precautions such as masking and social distancing. Without a vaccine tracking system in place, Human Resources must uphold all their current safety measures at full capacity. This action may instill resentment in fully vaccinated employees but without any precautions in place businesses risk endangering their unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated employees.
Current states with mandates to record and confirm employee vaccination status to relieve mask mandates
We recommend automating your vaccine tracking system to make the process easy for employees to log and update their status. A digital vaccination tracking report enables Human Resources to easily view employee immunity status to inform reopening plans and workplace safety protocols. Additionally, Employers can easily download employee vaccination information to comply with local reporting requirements.
When inquiring on employee vaccination status, employers should consider asking the following questions:
What type of vaccine did you receive?
When did you receive the vaccination? If applicable: When did you receive the second booster vaccination?
Where did you receive the vaccination?
Can you upload a photo of your vaccination card?
Tips to help employers encourage vaccination at the workplace
Many of our customers are employing these measures to optimize their vaccine adoption rate. Find out how these tips can help you mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the workplace.
Employers should ensure employees have access to accurate vaccine information
Employers aiming to increase their employee vaccination rate should keep their employees informed of their options and be open to questions. One of our customers, Redstone Highlands Communities, doubled their vaccination rate by establishing proactive measures to combat vaccine hesitancy.
Gauge employee sentiment to inform your outreach plan
Another step employers can take is to create a voluntary survey inquiring on employee willingness to get vaccinated. Employers can utilize this information to plan their vaccine outreach campaigns, assess workplace risk, and plan their future workplace safety measures.
Establish post-vaccine incentives for employees
Many employers have already started establishing employee vaccination incentive programs such as paid time off. With the new CDC guidance employers can also relieve mask restrictions and social distancing requirements for fully vaccinated employees.
Book a demo to learn more about our vaccine tracking tools!
The command center for COVID-19 helps HR leaders prevent and manage outbreaks cost effectively, minimizing risk and increasing employee confidence in returning to physical workspaces
AUSTIN, TX – May 11, 2021 – ReturnSafe, the holistic software solution for infectious disease management (IDM) helping businesses reopen and stay open, today announced it has joined the UKG Partner Network, a collaborative ecosystem of technology companies working with UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) to deliver custom applications, solution extensions, and integrations that provide a simplified and more connected workplace experience. UKG is a leading global provider of HCM, payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions.
With this collaboration, organizations that utilize both ReturnSafe and UKG solutions, including UKG Pro, UKG Dimensions, and UKG Ready can benefit from an integrated solution to help prevent and manage COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace. ReturnSafe provides HR leaders with a command center to manage employee vaccination status, health screenings, testing data, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine case management. The solution provides a 360-degree view into areas of risk and the tools to respond quickly and effectively. The integration with UKG streamlines employee user administration by automatically updating ReturnSafe with employee new hires and status changes to keep the COVID-19 Command Center up to date – saving hours of administration time.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, ReturnSafe has helped 60-plus organizations to reopen and stay open,” said Jikku Venkat, CEO and Co-Founder, ReturnSafe. “Many organizations have created ad-hoc solutions to manage a skeleton crew during the pandemic, but as the country reopens, countless businesses and schools will be heading back to in-person settings in full force. Leaders will need a solution that is easy to use, provides workflow automation, and supports compliance reporting needs. We are bringing our expertise and solution to the UKG ecosystem to give HR and operations leaders the insights and tools they need to scale their safety measures and confidently welcome back employees with the lowest possible workplace-related health safety risks.”
Businesses using ReturnSafe have access to:
Vaccine Management and Employee Sentiment: As employers navigate mixed-immunity workforces, this tool provides a report on important employee vaccination information, including vaccine provider, date, location, and eventual booster status. This feature also includes employee sentiment surveys where administrators can gauge their workforce’s attitudes towards taking the vaccination, providing meaningful insights for creating programs to address employee concerns.
Building Access Screening and Timekeeping Check In: This tool ensures that only people who meet the organization’s safety criteria have access to the building by integrating the health screening survey with building access control systems, as well as providing HR leaders with an easy-to-use integration with UKG Dimension for timekeeping.
Test Management: Employers’ external testing providers can directly upload employee test results into the Command Center Dashboard. Administrators can utilize this information to take immediate action when there is a positive test, and quickly update employees’ building access status.
Contact Logging / Tracing: Log close contacts with Bluetooth or Ultra-Wideband tags for a precise response to an outbreak, avoiding business disruption and complying with employee exposure notification requirements.
Case Management: All data entries and information are compiled in one workspace, displaying employees with potential, active, or cleared cases of COVID-19. Administrators have access to all the information needed to efficiently manage outbreaks, ensuring teams are following prescribed safety protocols.
“At UKG, we build lifelong partnerships with our customers to help them protect their people and create connected and meaningful experiences,” said Mike May, Senior Director, UKG Partner Network at UKG. “By cultivating a highly engaged ecosystem of technology partners, we’re able to solve critical business problems in novel ways. This empowers our customers with more opportunities to improve the employee experience, achieve new operational efficiencies, protect their people, and extend the value of their UKG investment.”
ReturnSafe is a comprehensive software solution for infectious disease management (IDM) that is helping businesses, universities, healthcare facilities, sports teams and major venues businesses reopen and stay open. Its end-to-end platform provides daily health screening, exposure notification, and contact tracing and case management for COVID-19 and other contagious diseases. ReturnSafe is based in Austin, TX and backed by Fifty Years, Necessary Ventures and Active Capital. To help keep everyone in your organization safe with human-driven, technology-supported solutions, visit https://www.returnsafe.com.
California is set to reopen on June 15, 2021, however, the strict requirements on employers regarding COVID-19 cases in the workplace have not changed. This law (AB-685) adds new employer notification requirements and gives Cal-OSHA expansive authority to close workplaces based on the threat of COVID-19. They have started issuing citations ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 for serious Covid-19-related violations. With the new statute, Cal/OSHA does not have to notify employers fifteen days before issuing the citation.
The law includes three key provisions:
Requirement for Employee notification of COVID-19 in the workplace: Under AB 685, the requirement to notify employees who may have been exposed to an infected employee is now mandatory under new Labor Code section 6409.6. Section 6409.6(a) requires an employer who receives notice of potential exposure to COVID-19 to notify any potentially exposed employees within one business day. Employers are required under the new law to keep records of the written notices provided to employees for at least three years.
Notification of the local public health agency of outbreaks within 48 hours: If an outbreak occurs in its workplace, an employer must notify the local public health officials of the names and worksite of “qualifying individuals” within 48 hours. An “outbreak” is currently defined as: “at least three probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period in people who are linked in the setting, are from different households, and are not identified as close contacts of each other in any other case investigation.”
Authority for Cal-OSHA to close workplaces that constitute an “imminent hazard to employees”: AB 685 amends Labor Code section 6325 to permit Cal-OSHA to close workplaces that “constitute an imminent hazard to employees” due to COVID-19. Some of the notice provisions that Cal-OSHA usually must comply with before making this determination have been removed so employers must be prepared to act immediately if they receive notice.
To meet these new requirements, public and private employers will need a solution purpose-built to fight infectious disease. ReturnSafe’s platform provides human resources administrators with risk mitigation insights to effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the worksite. Our automated end-to-end solution provides a full view of employee health status, contact tracing efforts needed, and allows administrators to manage notification workflows.
We provide a comprehensive set of services to enable you to create a healthier workplace. Screening, testing, contact tracing, vaccine management, and case management information is integrated into one data set so administrators can take swift and effective action to prevent outbreaks.
Mobile app or web app with a daily screening survey based upon CDC guidelines with the ability to customize screening questions for a location or industry-specific need. The survey screens for symptoms, exposure, travel, testing and vaccine status and provides an employee with a “green” building access pass or a “red” stay at home recommendation.
Ensures only employees who meet the “come to work” criteria are at the workplace. HR has a centralized dashboard of each employees health status.
During the workday, employee contacts can be logged using both an in-app logbook and automated tracking via Bluetooth wearables. A pre-populated list of contacts is created on an ongoing basis and is immediately available if someone tests positive or has been exposed to COVID-19.
Employee exposure notifications can begin in minutes of the positive case notification.