Thursday, October 29, 2020

Coronavirus Update 10-29-2020: The Dodgers might be World Series winners, but they’re COVID-19 losers

Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series. In the 8th inning of their clinching game 6, the Dodgers pulled third baseman Justin Turner from the game. No one knew why at the time. It was only after the game that it was announced that the team pulled Turner because he had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Why then was Turned allowed to join his team on the field (maskless no less) to celebrate their victory?!

When an employee tests positive, the first thing you absolutely must do is separate that employee from his or her co-workers. 

Ohio, for example, has dozens of sector-specific requirements that a business must follow to re-open and remain open during the pandemic. There is one constant across all of these: upon a confirmed case, an employer must, "Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at the facility." It's not supposed to allow the employee to loiter, or linger, or keep working, or join co-workers for a celebration no matter how momentous.

Major League Baseball, meanwhile, is saying all of the correct things.

Following the Dodgers' victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others," it said. "While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner's decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.

Still, MLB has some level of culpability, too, for setting up a system that allowed a player to take the field before he received his test results, and then re-take the field after finding out he tested positive.

Don't "win" like the Dodgers. By not removing and isolating employees as soon as you find you learn they have COVID-19, you are putting at risk the health and safety of all of your other employees and putting at risk the ability of your business to remain open if an employee becomes a super-spreader in your workplace.

* Photo by Medakit Ltd on Unsplash