Kaiser Permanente wants to help employees safely return to their workspaces amid COVID-19. Here's how

Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente has released a playbook that offices can use to safely bring back employees to the workplace. (Ted Eytan/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kaiser Permanente does not just want to ensure that it restarts some clinical operations shuttered due to COVID-19.

Now, it wants to help offices and workplaces across the country bring employees back.

The integrated healthcare system released on Thursday a playbook to help guide employers and businesses through health considerations when bringing back workers.

“As stay-at-home restrictions ease and people begin to return to their workplaces, the ability for employers to protect the physical, mental and social well-being of their employees will be paramount,” said Arthur Southam, executive vice president for health plan operations at Kaiser Permanente, in a statement.

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The playbook was made in response to requests from the health plan's customers.

Some recommendations include:

  • Reconfigure office space to allow at least two arms’ length of space between any workstations.
  • Put hand sanitizers in multiple locations throughout an office.
  • Promote frequent hand-washing and institute a universal masking policy wherever possible.
  • Limit any meeting or gathering to 10 people or less.
  • Increase any ventilation or air circulation and work to frequently disinfect touched surfaces like doorknobs or workstations.
  • Reevaluate leave-of-absence policies to evaluate any potential new infections of workers.
  • Implement contact tracing to alert employees if another employee has become infected.
  • Create a psychologically healthy workplace for employees.

Kaiser Permanente also recommends that offices suspend any nonessential travel, and necessary travel should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

The system added it plans to update the playbook as official guidance evolves with changes of the pandemic.

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