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Boreal Community Media

Chamber advises members about COVID-19 during the holiday season

Nov 09, 2020 03:32PM ● By Editor
By Jim Boyd, Executive Director of The Cook County Chamber of Coerce - November 9, 2020

We are now on the cusp of the 2020 holiday season, a time when we usually gather together in celebration of family, friendship and community. But this year, our celebrations also will be attended by the COVID-19 virus, which is moving through our communities at an ever-increasing rate.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has put together some sound guidance to help keep us safe through the holidays. You can find that guidance here:

Businesses will be at particular risk if employees scatter far and wide over the holidays. Unless those employees exercise great caution, they run a heightened risk of bringing the virus back with them and infecting others in the workplace. And that potentially puts the entire business operation at risk. 

One Cook County lodging establishment has developed a policy regarding employee holiday travel. It is offered here in the hope it might help other employers set policies that will work for them. Those policies will necessarily vary with the resources and circumstances of each employer:

Holiday Travel Quarantine Policy 

Due to the rapidly increasing covid infection rates throughout Minnesota and the entire US, and the increasing amount of travel that often happens during the holiday season, we would like to inform all staff members of the following quarantine policy that will be in effect between now and January 10th

Any staff member who travels beyond Duluth and engages in any of the activities listed below will be required to quarantine for a minimum 6 days upon returning to Cook County, and will then need to be tested for covid19 and receive a negative test result before returning to work. We will pay for the covid test but will not pay for time off during quarantine or during recovery periods for anyone who contracts covid while traveling (other than already earned personal leave time).

Activities requiring quarantine:

  • Travel by air
  • Travel by bus
  • Participating in a gathering, public or private, of over 10 people
  • Visiting bars or restaurants for inside dining other than our own restaurant,  which we believe to be safe due to our careful adherence to protective measures.

Quarantine procedures:

  • Anyone needing to quarantine due to participation in the above activities will not be allowed to return to their usual place of residence prior to completing the required quarantine, if their place of residence is within company-owned housing and if there are other staff members sharing the same housing space.
  • We will make our best effort to provide separate quarantine housing at no additional charge, as long as spare housing is available during the required quarantine dates.
  • On the 6th day after returning, an employee will be required to get a Covid-19 test and may return to work immediately following receipt of a negative test result. Test results are generally available in 1-3 days following test.  

Jim Boyd
Executive Director
Cook County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 805 
Grand Marais, MN 55604
218-370-9665 (office/cell)
218-387-2466 (home)
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