COVID-19 Face Covering, Social Distancing and Quarantine Requirements for PCC
Aloha my PCC Ohana,
As COVID-19 surges on the mainland and we begin preparing for our soft reopening on January 18, I want to focus our attention on the importance of wearing appropriate face coverings, social distancing and quarantining when necessary. These three practices have proven very successful in minimizing COVID-19 spread. Following are frequently asked questions about these practices as they apply to all of us here at the PCC. Please read them carefully.
How does the virus spread?
- The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet, or 2 arm lengths).
- It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.
- These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- Droplets can also land on surfaces and objects and be transferred by touch. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
- People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taster or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
When must I wear a face covering?
- The State of Hawaii requires all individuals to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths when in public settings. The only exceptions to this requirement are:
- Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities where the wearing of a face covering may pose a health or safety risk to the individual
- Children under the age of 5
- While working at a desk or work station and not actively engaged with other employees, customers, or visitors, provided that the individual’s desk or workstation is not located in a common or shared area and physical distancing of at least six (6) feet is maintained
- While eating and drinking
- Individuals who are communicating with the hearing impaired while actively communicating (e.g., signing or lip reading)
- While outdoors when a physical distance of six (6) feet from other individuals (who are not members of the same household/living unit/residence) can be maintained at all times. THIS EXCEPTION DOES NOT APPLY IN CUSTOMER-FACING AREAS AT THE PCC.
- All individuals must wear their face covering when entering at Gate 10A, and be prepared to present their face covering at any time when asked to do so by management, security or safety officers (Elder Davis and Lau Niumatalolo)
- Failure to comply with the above face covering requirements will result in a warning, followed by probation and then termination if necessary.
What kind of face covering should I wear?
- Face coverings should fit close to your face without large side-gaps and completely cover your nose and mouth
- Cloth masks should be made of tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton and cotton blends, breathable and with two or three layers
- Non-medical disposable masks should be single-use masks, with two or three layers
- Gaiter style face coverings are acceptable if they have two layers or are folded over to form two layers
What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
- Contact your supervisor immediately
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
- You should be tested, even if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19
- If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19
Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?
- Anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period
- Anyone in direct contact with someone who has tested positive’s bodily fluids (spit, cough, etc.)
- Anyone in an enclosed common area, with someone who has tested positive, for 1 hour or more within a 24 hour period, even if outside of 6’. Examples of an enclosed common area are shared office space, kitchen, work area, etc.
Am I considered a close contact if I was wearing a mask?
- Yes, you are still considered a close contact even if you were wearing a mask while you were around someone with COVID-19. Masks are meant to protect other people in case you are infected, and not to protect you from becoming infected.
What if I have been around someone who was identified as a close contact?
- If you have been around someone who was identified as a close contact to a person with COVID-19, closely monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19. You do not need to self-quarantine unless you develop symptoms or if the person identified as a close contact develops COVID-19.
Will PCC pay me if I must quarantine and cannot work from home?
- The PCC will pay employees their normal wages if they contracted COVID-19 while at work or were in close contact with someone who had COVID-19 while at work (see above “Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?”); and are following quarantine rules (see above “What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?”).
- Employees who contracted COVID-19 while away from work or were in close contact with someone who had COVID-19 while away from work (see above “Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?”), must contact their supervisor immediately and if not authorized to work from home, must use PTO and/or sick leave (if applicable), or take leave without pay.
Where can I get additional information?
- Contact PCC Safety Officers: Elder Tom Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Lau Niumatalolo (email@example.com)
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
- The COVID-19 State of Hawaii Portal at https://hawaiicovid19.com
Mahalo Nui Loa,
President & CEO