MMTA STAFF ILLNESS GUIDELINES

UPDATED January 29, 2021

Below are guidelines that we developed to address our intention to provide an illness-free workplace. Whenever possible, these apply to all illnesses but are being communicated in the context of COVID-19 and the importance of feeling safe and healthy at work. This is not an all-inclusive list of every scenario and we encourage you to contact your supervisor, Tim or Brian if you have any questions.

TIER 1 SYMPTOMS

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever above 100 degrees
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting

TIER 2 SYMPTOMS

  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea

  • Put on a mask, notify your supervisor and go home immediately if you experience any Tier 1 symptoms.
    • Return to work when:
      • 14 days has passed since ALL Tier 1 symptoms have subsided; or
      • 10 days has passed from the date a COVID test was taken and you exhibit no Tier 1 symptoms for 48-hours prior to your return to work without medication;
      • Additional precautions may be required upon your return such as requiring you to wear a face mask while in the office, requiring you to shut your office door and/or not allow others in your workspace, not allowing you to access shared spaces and/or equipment for a period of time and any other reasonable precaution to ensure an illness-free workplace.
    • If you experience any Tier 2 symptoms, please wear a mask immediately and discuss with your supervisor to determine next steps.

  • Isolate at home. Do not go out to any public places (grocery store, gas station, bank, etc.). Follow the Maine CDC instructions in “What is isolation?”.
  • Return to work when:
    • 14 days have passed since ALL Tier 1 symptoms have subsided if you do not get tested; or
    • 10 days have passed from the date your COVID test was taken and you exhibit no Tier 1 symptoms for 48-hours prior to your return to work without medication;
    • Additional precautions may be required upon your return such as requiring you to wear a face mask while in the office, requiring you to shut your office door and/or not allow others in your workspace, not allowing you to access shared spaces and/or equipment for a period of time and any other reasonable precaution to ensure an illness-free workplace.

For the purposes of this section, “close contacts” are defined as anyone you have been within 6-feet of for 15 cumulative minutes or more – regardless of either party being masked or unmasked.

If you are aware you have been in “close contact” with someone who has a confirmed COVID test, the Maine CDC recommends you quarantine just like you would if you were the one who tested positive.

You may return to work when 10 days have passed from the date of your “close contact’s” positive COVID test only if you have not experienced any symptoms.

  • If you experience any Tier 1 symptoms within this 10-day period, refer to the You Experience Sickness Symptoms section above.
  • Additional precautions may be required upon your return such as requiring you to wear a face mask while in the office, requiring you to shut your office door and/or not allow others in your workspace, not allowing you to access shared spaces and/or equipment for a period of time and any other reasonable precaution to ensure an illness-free workplace.

For the purposes of this section, “close contacts” are defined as anyone you have been within 6-feet of for 15 cumulative minutes or more – regardless of either party being masked or unmasked.

If you are aware you have had a “close contact” with someone who has possible, but not confirmed, exposure:

  • Wear a mask at all times in the office until the “close contact” receives a negative COVID test; or
  • Wear a mask at all times in the office for 10-days after your exposure to the “close contact” without a negative COVID test result; or
  • Wear a mask at all times in the office until you can produce a negative COVID test for yourself that is performed no less than 5-days after your exposure to the “close contact”.
  • When this guidance requires you to wear a mask:
    • You may choose to not to wear a face covering only in your workspace. If so, you need to notify any co-worker who enters your workspace that you are taking precautions and, for their safety, they need to practice strict 6-feet social distancing;
    • You must have your supervisor record your temperature at the start of each workday using an MMTA-provided thermometer; and
    • You are responsible for disinfecting any surfaces you touch (such as shared equipment) after each use.

If the person you have had a “close contact” with receives a positive COVID test result, please refer to the section above titled Your Exposure to Someone With Positive COVID Test.

PLEASE NOTE: the Maine CDC recommends waiting 5-7 days after your possible exposure before getting tested

While we highly encourage employees to get vaccinated, we do not require you to do so. If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated, we would like to support your efforts especially if there is a need to take time off and/or any expense that might otherwise inhibit your vaccination plans – please see Brian if this is the case. Also, if you do get vaccinated, we request that you let us know as this will likely play a role in our decisions if you exhibit Tier 2 symptoms subsequent to your vaccination.

Employees can elect to take paid time off (PTO), comp. time (if earned) and/or vacation time for this purpose. We will consider alternate requests on a case-by-case basis if time has already been used up, but please keep this in mind as you take time off during these uncertain times.

To be clear, nobody should be put in situations that they feel is unsafe – no amount of business is more important than our safety. Period. If a situation arises that makes you uncomfortable, please let Tim, Cecile or Brian know and we will help engineer out the concern, or give you direction/support.

When it comes to outside customers entering the building, they should have an appointment because most of the help we provide (registrations, compliance, credentials, etc.) can and should be done by mail and/or phone. If someone shows up without an appointment, we can determine the best course of action that helps them while minimizing potential exposure. For those that enter the building, we will still require them to follow our protocols – sign in, temperature, wear a mask, etc. – and at that point, members of our team will also wear a mask during their interaction. If anyone needs a mask, feel free to take some from the stockpile out back or use your own.

When we open up the conference room for classes, all such visitors are required to wear masks at all times in our building. This includes while they are in the conference room and especially when they enter/exit and use the bathrooms. Instructors are not required to wear masks when they are speaking, but must wear one upon entry/exit and using the bathrooms. This also includes vendors and UPS/FedEx/USPS.

Masks are also required to be worn by MMTA staff when they are meeting with anyone from the outside – whether on premises or off – when you are furthering the business objectives of the MMTA.

Governor Mills made vaccines available to everyone 16-years and older on April 7th and announced adjustments to capacity limits for indoor gatherings.  While this has prompted a revision in our approach to office visitors and meetings in the conference room, we want to be clear that we remain committed to the health and safety of our team and the following revision reflects a more conservative approach than is recommended by the Maine CDC.

  • Masks for visitors to our building will still be required at all times.
  • Visitors will still be required to sanitize their hands upon entering the building.
  • Unvaccinated staff members should continue to wear a mask during your interactions with visitors and while outside the office on MMTA business. Vaccinated staff members can choose to wear a mask at their discretion.
  • The front door will now be unlocked during business hours and signage will be prominently displayed to outline the mask and hand sanitizing requirements. They will no longer be required to have their temperatures taken or sign in/out.
  • The conference room occupancy limit will be raised to a maximum of 30 depending upon the occasion. Distancing requirements will still be considered, taking into account tables (for seminars) or chairs-only for other gatherings.
  • We will not be using the conference room for outside groups not directly affiliated with the MMTA.

The reason we have pushed this back to May 17th is that we believe it gives everyone who wishes to be vaccinated the opportunity to do so.  However, if you have made unsuccessful attempts to set up an appointment and would like us to push this deadline back due to scheduling problems, please let Brian know immediately.

Reiterating our position since the beginning of the pandemic, nobody should be put in situations that they feel is unsafe – no amount of business is more important than our safety. Period. If a situation arises that makes you uncomfortable, please let Tim, Cecile or Brian know and we will help engineer out the concern, or give you direction/support.