How to handle it when a colleague tests positive for COVID
This is what we don’t want happening but if it does, your employer should take the reins from the moment a positive test result lands on their doorstep (so to speak). They first need to report the relevant details to a range of authorities including the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the Department of Employment and Labour’s provincial chief inspectors among others.
What comes next is as follows: communicating transparently with the entire organisation about the positive result and actions the organisation has already taken, disinfecting the workspace, conducting a risk assessment of employees (which you can read more about here) and slowing letting employees come back to work as practical. The expanded steps can be found, numbered for your convenience, over here courtesy of global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
If you’ve been in close contact with a colleague who’s tested positive, listen to the advice of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. They provide great guidance and unpack a list of frequently asked questions in clear detail. Read it all here.
Handle your health above all
The old saying goes ‘your health is your wealth’ and it’s probably printed on every medically-related pamphlet out there, but right now? Take this as gospel. If you don’t feel your office has been adequately equipped for COVID or protocols and disinfecting routines aren’t being followed (and your health is at risk), you can report it to HR – if you feel it will gain traction – or take it further and report it to a provincial support inspector. The numbers below come from the South African government Twitter account as of 6 January this year:
||082 908 2318
||066 304 3469
||082 900 8131
||060 985 9286
||081 382 4008
||082 880 4297
||082 802 6796
||082 908 2308
||082 791 4485