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Does a business have to tell employees, customers about positive cases?

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 07:41:36-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As the number of cases continues to rise in Southern Nevada, the number of businesses reporting employees testing positive for COVID-19 is rising as well.

With numbers continuing to jump, what happens if a business finds out they have a confirmed case of COVID-19?

The Southern Nevada Health District says, "Sometimes we get reports from employers, but oftentimes we get reports from laboratories or providers.”

Dr. Vit Kraushaar, a medical investigator, says once the health district learns there is a confirmed case it begins contact tracing.

“We will try and identify any individual they might have been in close contact with to identify people at higher risk,” Dr. Kraushaar said.

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He also says under Nevada administrative codes, an employer would have to notify the health district of a confirmed case. The environmental health department would then be contacted to work with the employer on the next steps.

“Like, how do you properly disinfect, or should you close down for a period of time? We work with them on a one-to-one basis,” Dr. Kraushaar said.

The health district says it will let the public know if a business has confirmed cases if there is a great risk of community spread. However, the discretion on notifying the public or anyone else not in close contact falls to the business itself.

When asked if employers have a moral or ethical obligation to be transparent, Dr. Kraushaar says they should be upfront with their workers and customers.

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“Word gets out eventually and it’s often helpful for people to just be more forthright with everyone,” Dr. Kraushaar said.

Brian Slipock, the owner of Jackson’s Bar and Grill, says if he finds a confirmed case, he feels an obligation to make that news public.

“We’re very transparent here. We’re great friends with most of our customers here. They know who we are. They know what we’re going to do and what we’re going through to keep them safe," Slipock said.

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