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Returning to Work

Protect yourself and others in the workplace

Stay home when needed


Monitor your health

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

  • This is especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.

  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.

  • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.

  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Wear a mask

  • Wear a mask in public settings where staying 6 feet apart (about two arms length) is not possible. Interacting without wearing a mask increases your risk of getting infected.

  • Wearing a mask does not replace the need to practice social distancing.

  • Wear masks to help keep from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Social distance in shared spaces

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and others. COVID-19 spreads easier between people who are within 6 feet of each other.

  • Keeping distance from other people is especially important for people who are at increased risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with certain medical conditions.

  • Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.

  • Avoid close contact with others on your commute to work, if possible. Consider biking, walking, driving either alone or with other members of your household. Learn how to protect yourself when using transportation to commute to work.

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. If your hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water over hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if you haven’t washed your hands.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.


Avoid sharing objects and equipment

  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If you cannot avoid using someone else’s workstation, clean and disinfect before and after use.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, like workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water before disinfection.

  • To disinfect, use these EPA-registered disinfectantsexternal icon.


Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases

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