Cass County Public Health provides guidance to area businesses during the COVID-19 Outbreak

April 20, 2020

Atlantic, IA—Cass County Public Health continues to provide guidance to area businesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. “There are some definite steps local businesses that are still open can take to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, as well as to detect and manage the virus if an employee should become infected,” said Beth Olsen, Cass County Public Health Director. “We are here to guide businesses to help ensure the health and safety of their employees as well as all citizens of Cass County.”

Preventing Outbreaks
Businesses should implement measures to enable social distancing as much as possible.

  • Consider staggering shifts to reduce worker population at any given time.
  • Stagger breaks to reduce staff interactions.
  • Review procedures to identify ways to increase the physical separation of staff.

Businesses should prioritize hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette among employees.

  • Businesses should provide or allow employees to wear their own homemade cloth facemasks.
  • Businesses should provide hand sanitizer or handwashing opportunities as frequently as possible.

Detecting Outbreaks
Screen all employees by taking their temperature and assessing for cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing or any other respiratory symptom at the beginning and end of each shift. For a screening algorithm visit:

Exclude all employees reporting fever or respiratory symptoms (these cases will be directed to stay home and isolate themselves from other people and animals in the home) until they:

  • Have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Exclusion criteria must be followed with all symptomatic employees, regardless of whether the testing is completed (even if the employee tests negative for COVID-19 infection).