Virginia: NEW COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard


All Employers with VA Employees


July 27, 2020


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Virginia is the first state in the country to implement an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for managing COVID-19. It went into effect on July 27, 2020. Employers must assess the “exposure risk level” of disease-related hazards in the workplace defined as “very high,” “high,” “medium,” and “lower,” and the top three classifications must implement an infectious disease preparedness and response plan. Employers who comply with (unidentified) CDC publications to mitigate COVID-19 related risks are deemed to have complied with the ETS. All employers must also:

  • Tell employees how to self-monitor for symptoms;
  • Implement policies and procedures for employees to report COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Prohibit infected or exposed employees from reporting to a worksite (other than a remote work arrangement) or client location;
  • Make employees aware of sick leave policies;
  • Implement specified confidential notification procedures when an employee or contractor receives a positive COVID-19 test result;
  • Ensure employee access to their own COVID-19 exposure and medical records;
  • Implement return to work policies and procedures following illness or exposure (including following strategies mirroring those formerly set forth by the CDC);
  • Implement policies and procedures to observe physical distancing;
  • Ensure access to common areas, breakrooms, or lunchrooms is closed or controlled;
  • Ensure compliance with respiratory protection and personal protective equipment standards when occupying a vehicle for work purposes;
  • Follow specified sanitation and disinfecting guidelines; and
  • Provide personal protective equipment where required, including training on use.

There are additional requirements for jobs classified as medium, high, or very high exposure risk. Employers in the top three classifications have specific training requirements, including 30 days after the ETS effective date to implement training requirements on the ETS and 60 days to implement training requirements on the employer’s infectious disease preparedness and response plan. Finally, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees exercising their rights under the ETS.

Action Items

  1. Review the ETS here.
  2. Conduct an assessment and implement a plan where applicable.
  3. Train employees on the ETS and plan by the required deadlines.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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