Got questions about the coronavirus virus? Call PLS @ 317-865-7757 for answers.
Is there a vaccine yet?
No. The first testing in humans of an experimental vaccine began in mid-March. Such rapid development of a potential vaccine is unprecedented, but even if it is proved safe and effective, it probably will not be available for 12 to18 months.
Why is COVID-19 such a big deal? Isn’t this like the flu?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness, including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
This risk to specific populations means that the CDC and ISDH are asking individuals to practice everyday precautions to protect high-risk individuals. This includes staying home when sick, practicing effective handwashing, disinfecting common areas often and avoiding large gatherings.
How can I help protect myself?
The best way to protect yourself is to heed the current guidance about social distancing and take the same steps used to prevent other respiratory infections, including the flu. The best way to protect yourself includes:
Cleaning your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoiding close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cleaning and disinfecting
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces, gloves or clothes are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens (such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes) claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
What is the best way to decontaminate an area that has been exposed to COVID-19? What cleaning agents should be used?
Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens (such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes & Lysol) claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
I believe that my food been exposed to COVID-19. Does it need to be thrown out?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food, it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.
Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19.
What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.
Will I get hazard pay if I continue to work during the COVID-19 period?
No. PLS Pros are expected to exercise their JSA process, along with information shared on the PLS COVID-19 Updates page, to protect themselves from the virus while working.
Can I get fired for not practicing COVID-19 procedures when off the clock?
No, but all Americans have a civic duty to STOP the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you catch or contract the virus and bring it to the jobsite where it spreads to coworkers, the site will more than likely be shutdown. Resulting in you and every other worker on that site being displaced. PLS supports the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America to slow the spread. You can find a copy here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf
Will Hotels close?
No. They are considered essential.
Will I get paid if I’m sick?
PLS does not offer sick pay as a benefit. At the time of this writing no legislation has been approved offering Americans any government assistance if you feel or are sick.
Will I get paid if I leave my assignment?
No. We encourage all working PROS to complete the mission. PLS believes we all have a responsibility to continue performing the essential work needed for our country right now, and to perform that work while protecting ourselves from the virus and preventing the spread. While so many of our fellow Americans have been displaced due to the COVID-19 virus our work has never had more purpose or been more essential.
At the time of this writing no legislation has been approved offering Americans any new government assistance if you remove yourself.
Do I still need to wear my PPE?
YES. Hardhats, safety glasses and gloves are required and a condition of employment. Glasses and gloves also provide some protection against the COVID-19 virus.
What if I don’t have the required PPE and I need it?
Do not complete any task that cannot be completed safely. Contact your Supervisor. Let him/her know your current task cannot be completed safely with your current PPE and safety controls and request another task. Contact your PLS Safety Director for guidelines on how to complete tasks safely or if you need additional PPE.
Can I use tools or borrow tools that aren’t mine?
Wipe down any tool with an EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens (such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes & Lysol) and use gloves at all times.
What if I don’t have access to disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer?
Use soap and water. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. This is the smartest thing you can do to prevent the spread of viruses. Wear gloves and wash the gloves after use.
How do I know If I have the coronavirus or what are the symptoms?
The only way to tell if you have the COVID-19 virus is to be tested. Currently the only way to get tested is to show the symptoms. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- A fever typically above 100.4 degrees – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
- Difficulty breathing
How can I self-monitor myself?
Take your temperature every morning and night or anytime you feel like you might have a fever. In addition to fever, be alert for any other symptoms of COVID-19, including cough or shortness of breath.
What should I do if I’m working and I have fever, cough or shortness of breath?
- Remove yourself from the jobsite immediately.
- Contact PLS and notify your supervisor.
- Do not go out in public.
- Seek medical advice – call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them you are under COVID-19 quarantine and about your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Reminder: do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Should I be bump-fisting or elbow bumping?
No. You should avoid physical contact until the COVID-19 period is over. Maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from others.
At work am I in danger from the COVID-19 virus?
All job sites have hazards. This is why PLS requires a JSA. In a JSA, each basic step of the job is to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to do the job. PLS follows the CDC guidelines and recommendations on preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These recommendations must be applied not only at work but at all times during the COVID-19 period.
Will any PLS office personal be visiting my jobsite?
In an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, PLS is limiting as much travel as possible during the COVID-19 period and providing support remotely.
How long can the virus survive on surfaces?
Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.” Here’s a good link for more information on home disinfecting: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html
For additional information here is a list pf PLS approved sites:
US Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) site
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions
WHO (World Health Organization)Q&A on coronavirus (COVID-19)