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What Bank Employees Need to Know about COVID-19
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources to assist employers and workers identify COVID-19 exposure risks and help them take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection. See the OSHA Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) topic pageexternal icon for the most current requirements, guidance, and tools.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called SARS-COV-2. Our understanding of how the virus spreads is evolving as we learn more about it.
Among adults, the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. People of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
How COVID-19 Spreads
COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are still learning about how it spreads. Here’s what we currently know:
- It mainly spreads from person to person.
- Between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or talks
- You can get the virus from people who don’t seem sick or show symptoms.
- You may be able to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or your eyes.
As a bank employee, you could come into contact with the virus at your job by:
- Being in close contact (within 6 feet) with customers or coworkers.
- Sharing common workplace equipment such as computers or phones.
- Touching or handling items, cash, or paperwork and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
How You Can Protect Yourself and Others and Slow the Spread
Stay home if you are having symptoms of COVID-19.
- Follow CDC-recommended steps and isolate yourself if you are sick.
- Do not return to work until it’s safe. See Discontinuation of Home Isolation and talk to your healthcare provider.
- Follow CDC recommended precautions and tell your supervisor if you are well but someone you live with has COVID-19.
Stay at least 6 feet away from customers and coworkers, when possible.
- Remember that people may be able to spread COVID-19 even if they do not show symptoms. Consider all close interactions (within 6 feet) as a potential source of exposure.
- Follow protective policies such as adjusting your workstation to minimize close contact and using transparent shields or other barriers if they have been put in place by your employer to physically separate yourself from customers where distancing is not an option (e.g., teller counters).
- Keep a distance of 6 feet from other people (social distancing) at all times including during breaks.
Use a cloth face covering as appropriate.
- Cloth face coverings are intended to protect other people—not the wearer. They are not considered to be personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Learn how to put on and take off a cloth face covering safely.
- Wash the cloth face covering after every use.
- Cloth face coverings should not be worn if they create a new risk (e.g., if they interfere with driving or vision, or contribute to heat-related illness).
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- The following areas and surfaces should be cleaned routinely using products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2,external icon diluted household bleach solutions, or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, appropriate for surface disinfection:
- Break rooms, locker rooms, vending machines, computer terminals, cash drawers, service counters, ATMs, door handles, customer deposit/withdrawal slip stations, and drive-through delivery document carrier tubes
- Follow the directions on the cleaning product’s label.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after cleaning and disinfecting.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You don’t need to wear gloves if you wash your hands often (unless they are already required for your job).
- Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer at these key times:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- After using the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
- Before and after work and work breaks
- After handling documents or cash or contact with high-touch surfaces
- After cleaning high-touch surfaces
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands.
How Your Employer Can Protect You
Your employer should develop a COVID-19 response plan and share it with you. CDC created a fact sheet to help your employer.
How to Get More Information
Talk to your employer, supervisor, or whoever is responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Use these sources for more information on reducing the risk of worker exposures to COVID-19:
- CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19
- CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
- CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
- NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic: COVID-19
- CDC COVID-19
- OSHA COVID-19 external icon
- OSHA Guidelines on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19pdf iconexternal icon
- CDCINFO: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) | TTY: 1-888-232-6348 | website: www.cdc.gov/info