Getting Back to Work During COVID-19

Navigate the transition back to work safely with these tips and guidelines.

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about getting our nation’s workplaces and businesses up and running. This will happen sooner or later — or it has already happened, depending on your state and the industries involved.

If you’re considered a frontline worker, including grocery employees, law enforcement, postal workers, and certain retail and manufacturing workers, you’re likely already out there working again, or maybe you never stopped (and we thank you for that!).

For non-essential workers, the timing is less clear about where, when, and how you may return to work, and with uncertainty often comes anxiety. And for many people, deciding when to go back to work is a luxury they can’t afford — instead, they are forced to choose between their job and their health, often with no paid sick leave.

Whether you’re out on the frontlines or working remotely, Oscar is here for you. We’re sharing some tips and guidance for navigating the transition back to work safely, and how we can help you get the health care you need, no matter where you are.

What to do if you’re sick (and worried it might be COVID-19)

If you’ve been feeling sick — even if you haven’t tested positive for COVID-19— it’s important to stay home and isolate. Look for symptoms including, but not limited to, fever, cough, and shortness of breath (Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, for the most up-to-date list of symptoms, also below).

If you’ve been feeling sick — even if you haven’t tested positive for COVID-19— it’s important to stay home and isolate.

The CDC has guidelines to help you manage your symptoms, so you can recover as quickly as possible and possibly avoid emergency medical attention. (If you do start experiencing emergency symptoms, however, such as trouble breathing, call 9-1-1 immediately.) According to the CDC, you can leave your home and return to work when:

  • You haven’t had a fever for at least 72 hours without taking any medicine that reduces fevers.
  • Other symptoms, such as a cough or shortness of breath, have improved.
  • If you haven’t had a test to find out if the virus is detectable in your respiratory tract (excluding antibody testing) and it’s been 10 days since your symptoms started.
  • You receive two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart (if you’re able to take a test to find out if the virus is detectable in your respiratory tract).

Even if you haven’t experienced any symptoms, but tested positive for COVID-19 (excluding antibody testing) at some point, most of the above still applies. Per the CDC guidelines above, you’ll either need to isolate for 10 days after you tested positive for the infection, or receive two negative test results, 24 hours apart (excluding antibody testing), and to continue not having any symptoms.

Depending on your circumstances, you might also consider helping the medical community as they treat current COVID-19 patients attack the virus: speak to your provider about how to make plasma donations through the Red Cross if you have fully recovered.

Remember that the CDC has guidelines for what your employer should do to keep the workplace safe and protect employees, so they might ask you to stay home until you’ve recovered as outlined above.

Is your employer asking you to get a doctor’s note before returning to work? You should reach out to your primary care doctor. If your provider is unavailable, your Oscar Care Team can help you find another doctor in your area or connect you with one of Oscar’s Doctors on Call, our round-the-clock virtual care service, offered at $0 for most members.* Oscar Care Guides can also help you find a local provider that offers the test to see if the virus is still detectable in your respiratory tract (excluding antibody testing). Just login to your account to access our COVID-19 testing center locator, or reach out to your Care Team at 1-855-672-2788.

We know that staying home for a long period of time often isn’t an option financially (and for so many other reasons), but the sooner you start isolating, the sooner you can get back to work.

Most COVID-19 symptoms are mild — and some people show no symptoms at all — but staying home if you’re sick is the best way to recover, help protect your loved ones, and “flatten the curve.”

Read the rest of the article on Cigna + Oscar’s blog.

Note: This article was originally published on Zenefits has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the reliability, quality, or accuracy, of this content.

Cigna + Oscar coverage is insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company.
CA: benefits administered by Oscar Health Administrators. Other states: benefits administered by Mulberry Management Corporation. Pharmacy benefits provided by Express Scripts, Inc. Cigna + Oscar health insurance contains exclusions and limitations. For complete details on product availability and coverage, please refer to your plan documents or contact a representative.

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