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COVID-19 Advisory: Alabama COVID Order/CDC Exposure Guidance

April 3, 2020
To: All Domestic Employees
From: Pandemic Working Group
Re: COVID-19 – Alabama COVID Order/CDC Exposure Guidance

Alabama Order

This evening, after conferring with governors of other states, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris issued an “Order Suspending Certain Public Gatherings,” which goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2020. The order requires that persons stay at home except as necessary to perform essential activities, which include, among others, obtaining necessary supplies or services, taking care of others, seeing family members and working at “essential businesses and operations.” Like many other states, Alabama has incorporated the CISA critical infrastructure list, under which AMVAC is considered to be an essential business (“Food and Ag,” “Chemicals” and “Public Health”). The order also includes multiple other categories under which we are permitted to operate. Please note that the order requires that we observe social distancing in the workplace. In short, please keep your wallet cards with you (indicating that you work for AMVAC and that we are permitted to operate under federal and state COVID orders). If you need additional cards, please contact Veronica Plascencia (veronicap@amvac.com).

CDC Guidance on Community-Related Exposure

Citing new scientific evidence that there is a risk of transmission from infected persons who have not shown symptoms, CDC released new guidance today in which it recommends that if you are exposed to a symptomatic COVID patient within 48 hours before he or she showed symptoms, then you should self-quarantine for 14 days after last exposure and keep social distance (at least six feet) from others at all times. By “exposed to,” the CDC means being a household member, an intimate partner or being within six feet for a prolonged period. The revised guidance will be posted on our website under COVID Advisories and is also on www.cdc.gov.

This is consistent with recent research from the World Health Organization that “pre-symptomatic” persons (those who have the infection in the early stages) can be infectious. The WHO researchers hasten to add that COVID is not transmitted like the measles, which hang in the air for long period of time. However, it can be transmitted by someone standing too closely and talking in a confined space. This consideration is further enforced in yesterday’s New York Times article (“These Coronavirus Exposures Might be the Most Dangerous”), in which the authors point out that viruses are usually more dangerous in larger amounts, and that smaller initial exposures tend to lead to milder infections. To limit exposure in higher risk situations (airborne droplets), the authors recommend social distancing. Where that is not possible, as in the case of paying a cashier, they suggest you keep it brief – “within six feet, only six seconds.” And, as we mentioned yesterday, wearing a cloth mask in public is also a prudent measure for transient encounters.). 

If you have questions on any of these matters, please contact either Kelly Willmott (kellyw@amvac.com) or Tim Donnelly (timd@amvac.com).

COVID-19 Advisory: Alabama COVID Order/CDC Exposure Guidance