The outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originally detected last December in Wuhan City, China has spread to other countries, including six confirmed cases in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus is considered an “emerging public health threat.” The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to identify and contain the outbreak and prevent sustained spread, including travel restrictions to and from China and health screening of travelers returning from China.
There are no reported cases in Hawaii at this time, but state officials say it is likely there will be, and quarantine facilities are being prepared in response.
What does this mean for Hawaii employers? Employers should maintain workplace safety and health standards, and be aware that existing OSHA standards may apply to protecting workers from occupational exposure to 2019-nCoV, including:
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