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  • Writer's pictureMel Snyder

A Worker Says "I've tested COVID-positive." You say...

A Bloomberg article last week that corporations, small businesses and school boards are imposing restrictions on employees revealing their own COVID-19 positive status or discussing that of their fellow employees.

— Firms and schools fear business impact and violating employee privacy.

— Absent federal or state mandates to routinely test workers with high public contact or working in conditions that make social distancing difficult, management has no obligation – perhaps, not even the right – to require workers to be tested.

— Few would argue that parents of little kids taught by an infected teacher should not be told. But once apprised by an employee that they have tested positive, does absence of a testing mandate entitle management to suppress that knowledge?

Control of COVID-19 depends on testing, tracking and tracing – especially since infected individuals may be most infectious before symptomatic.

Thus, I believe ethics demands notifying coworkers. And if the employee had public contact, local media – despite possible fallout. What do you think?

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