Virginia is the first state in the nation to adopt workplace safety standards to address the coronavirus.
The state‘s Safety and Health Codes Board adopted the emergency temporary standard on infectious disease prevention – drafted under the direction of Governor Ralph Northam – by a 9-2 vote July 15.
Virginia is mandating PPE, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness, recordkeeping and training under the new standard, which will be in place for six months, according to The Hill.
Employers are also required to mandate social distancing measures and face coverings for employees in customer-facing positions.
If social distancing isn’t possible, frequent access to hand washing or hand sanitizer is required along with regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces.
Employees must be notified within 24 hours if a co-worker tests positive for coronavirus, and employees known or suspected to be positive for COVID-19 aren’t allowed to return to work for 10 days or until they receive two consecutive negative tests.
These rules were adopted since there is no federal standard addressing the coronavirus despite calls from labor unions and worker advocate groups for OSHA to create one.