When Can You Call Into Work During COVID?

Leylia Vang

In October, When I got exposed to COVID I had called my workplace and informed them that I just went to get tested because I had been around someone who had COVID. Their response was, “ Well, are you feeling any symptoms?” When I said no they replied, “ If you aren’t then you can still come in. You don’t necessarily need to wait for your test to come back”. 

CDC guidelines state, “To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community…Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.”

Going back to work was regular. I was expecting some temperature checks or something but it was almost as if I was going back as a regular employee, almost like they forgot or something. When word got around that team leads were sick everyone who was possibly exposed to them were taking two weeks off. When it came to a regular team member who caught COVID nobody was taking two weeks off, and it was as if nothing had happened. 

The biggest problem for me is that I work in Starbucks. I am constantly touching everything that the customer will take home, whether it be their cups, making the actual drink, their receipt, or their pastry/ sandwich bags. Yes, of course I am required to constantly wash my hands and wear a mask, but even still there would be that risk of transferring the virus. 

I wanted to check Target’s guidelines for when you were exposed to someone with COVID. I then asked the Team lead of the Starbuck’s department and his response was, “Target does not care, you can come in up until the point the government gives you orders not to work”. 

Let’s remember the Coronavirus is a disease that can be transmitted through person to person, whether it be from a cough or a sneeze. It can be spread during close contact (within 6 feet). So, wearing a mask is a crucial part in staying safe and protected from COVID. Here’s how to correctly wear a mask according to the CDC, “Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19

Many times I often come across customers who do not wear the appropriate mask, or don’t wear it correctly. This is just a reminder for your own and everyone else’s safety. And that makes me as a possible contagious person even more likely to infect them. 

I currently do not work at Starbucks Target anymore and I have been self quarantining to ensure that everyone around me is safe. With the cases raising and our state being in the top of COVID cases it’s safer to always be taking precautions, and avoid going out.