This guidance applies to any instances where an employee is either suspected or confirmed of having coronavirus (COVID-19) and has been in a Falkirk Council workplace or another location whilst working for Falkirk Council.

The infectious period for coronavirus (COVID-19) is either 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or if the individual is asymptomatic – 48 hours prior to taking a coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

Any individual who begins to show symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) whilst in a Falkirk Council workplace should be directed to travel home immediately, in line with the Becoming Ill at Work guidance.


    Employees

    Employees should complete the Report a Confirmed or Suspected COVID case form on the SHE Assure Employee Portal if they are well enough. If they are unable to do this, their line manager needs to complete the form.

    This includes employees who are asymptomatic and have been in the workplace during their infectious period.

    There is no requirement for an employee to report a suspected or confirmed case if they have been solely working from home during their infectious period. Normal sickness/absence rules apply in this situation.

    How to guide: Report a confirmed or suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) case

    Managers

    Once the case is reported on the SHE portal, the line manager should complete an investigation using the SHE Assure System.

    How to guide: Investigate a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19)

    If the line manager is unable to do this, they should contact the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team as soon as possible.

    Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team

    Close contacts

    As part of the investigation, managers will need to identify potential workplace close contacts of any employee who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Where an employee is identified as a potential close contact, the relevant line manager should contact the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team to determine if it is appropriate for these individuals to self-isolate prior to being contacted by NHS Test & Protect.

    If a member of the public is a possible close contact, the manager should contact the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team for advice.

    A close contact is someone who has:

    • face to face contact with a case within 1 metre for any length of time, including:
      • being coughed on
      • having a face-to-face conversation
      • having skin-to-skin physical contact
    • any contact within 1 metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
    • travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19); or in a large vehicle near someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
    • been between 1 and 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) for more than 15 minutes, cumulatively, during their infectious period (either 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or if the individual is asymptomatic - 48 hours prior to taking a coronavirus (COVID-19) test).

    Employees who are identified as close contacts should:

    • self-isolate at home for 10 days from the last exposure to the individual who tested positive
    • avoid contact with the rest of their household as far as possible
    • other members of the employee's household do not need to self-isolate unless the employee develops symptoms

    In some cases NHS Test & Protect may provide further advice to the employee who has been identified as a close contact. This advice should always be followed. Individuals who are self-isolating need to complete the 10 isolation period, even if they obtain a negative result from a COVID test during this time.

    Where there are discrepancies with the direction to self-isolate provided by Falkirk Council, Michael Durrington (michael.durrington@falkirk.gov.uk) of the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team should be contacted for clarification.

    If there are any queries or uncertainties around reporting suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) please contact:

    Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team