Currently, all Pennsylvania counties are in the "Green" phase of re-opening. Masks are required.
Resources are also available through NADA at www.nada.org/coronavirus/resources.
If you have questions regarding your dealership’s situation, please call
PAA at 717-255-8311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OSHA Guidance (See PAA News Bulletin 3 2/12/21)
The complete guidance is available online at www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework.
Like other OSHA guidance published in the last year, this guidance is not mandatory and creates no legal obligations; however, OSHA has considered an employer’s good faith efforts to comply with safety and health standards and guidance when determining whether to cite a violation.
Links To Assist Dealerships:
PPP Loan Forgiveness-Recent Changes - Thursday, October 29 10 a.m. [RECORDING]
PPP Loan Forgiveness - June 11 [RECORDING]
PPP Loan Forgiveness - May 21 [RECORDING]
PPP Loan Forgiveness Process Webinar - April 23, 2020 [RECORDING]
Federal Legislation COVID-19 Overview - April 3 [Recording]
Have a question/concern? Submit online and PAA will answer or connect you with an expert.
What happens if someone gets sick?Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient. Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements: The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough. The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart. Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
Should employees wear facemasks?Yes. See the PA Department of Health order online at: https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/20200415-SOH-worker-safety-order.pdf
We are ready to call our employees back to our worksite, but an employee has expressed a preference for working from home. What can we do?"Some employees may have a real preference for working from home, but you can refuse remote work so long as the employee is not seeking a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If an accommodation is being requested, you should conduct an interactive process with the employee to determine whether an obligation exists to provide such or another accommodation.
Should I postpone a scheduled trip?CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. A list of destinations with travel notices is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. Warning Level 3: CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to destinations with level 3 travel notices because of the risk of getting COVID-19. Alert Level 2: Because COVID-19 can be more serious in older adults and those with chronic medical conditions, people in these groups should talk to a healthcare provider and consider postponing travel to destinations with level 2 travel notices. Watch Level 1: CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices because the risk of COVID-19 is thought to be low. If you travel, take the following routine precautions: Avoid contact with sick people. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
Will this go away as weather gets warmer?It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.
Can we ask an employee to stay home or leave work if they exhibit symptoms of the COVID-19 or the flu?Yes. You should continue to monitor employees for indicative symptoms, and not allow symptomatic individuals to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.
What if I am terminated or laid off due to Coronavirus?If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers' Compensation benefits. Information is available online at https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx
Can we continue providing the group health, dental & vision coverage for employees who are being temporarily laid off?"Yes, at this point the carriers are allowing temporarily laid off employees to remain on the group coverage. We should hear from the carriers if it would be acceptable to keep laid off employees active on the group plan - if the layoff becomes protracted and carries into May. Also, IMPORTANT NOTE: If the dealer is paying the employee portion of the premium, and will expect to be paid back upon the employee’s return to work – they will need to document this in writing via an amendment of the Wrap SPD or, at minimum, an employee memo in order to document the unusual steps taken. Also, they would want to detail the expected timeframe to be reimbursed back the insurance premium from the employee upon returning to work.
Can I text my customers to let them know what is happening at my dealerships?Dealers cannot generally rely on the emergency exception under TCPA for text message communications to customers – including otherwise well-intentioned messages about what steps the dealer is taking to respond/hours of operation/policies/etc. Even a dealer who wants to notify customers of an exposure or other similar imminent health threat would not fit under the exception.
What steps should we take when an employee tests positive for or is diagnosed with COVID-19?Isolate/Quarantine Confirmed Employees The infected employee should remain at home until released by a physician or public health official. If a medical note releasing the employee is unavailable, follow the CDC guidelines on when an employee may discontinue self-isolation, which contain specific requirements dependent upon whether the employee tested positive for COVID-19 and the symptoms exhibited. Address And Isolate Employees Working Near An Infected Co-Worker You should ask infected employees to identify all individuals who worked in close proximity (within six feet) for a prolonged period of time (10 minutes or more to 30 minutes or more depending upon particular circumstances, such as how close the employees worked and whether they shared tools or other items) with them during the 48-hour period before the onset of symptoms. Send home all employees who worked closely with the infected employee for 14 days under CDC Guidance to ensure the infection does not spread. While quarantined, those employees should self-monitor for symptoms, avoid contact with high-risk individuals, and seek medical attention if symptoms develop. Clean And Disinfect Your Workplace After a confirmed COVID-19 case, follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the workplace. Your cleaning staff or a third-party sanitation contractor should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill person, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces. If using cleaners other than household cleaners with more frequency than an employee would use at home, ensure workers are trained on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace and maintain a written program in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard. Simply download the manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and share with employees as needed, and make sure the cleaners used are on your list of workplace chemicals used as part of a Hazard Communication Program. Notify Your Employees Following a confirmed COVID-19 case, and as recommended by the CDC, notify all employees who work in the location or area where the employee works of the situation. You will want to do so without revealing any confidential medical information such as the name of the employee. Inform employees of the actions you have taken, including requiring employees who worked closely to the infected worker to go home. Let employees know about your sanitizing and cleaning efforts and remind them to seek medical attention if they exhibit symptoms. The failure to notify employees at your location of a confirmed case may be a violation of OSHA’s general duty clause, which requires all employers to provide employees with a safe work environment.