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Monkeypox Guidance for High-Risk Establishments


The monkeypox virus is related to the virus that causes smallpox but is generally less severe and rarely fatal. Symptoms include painful or itchy rash and sometimes flu-like symptoms. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through the following:

  • Close, personal, and skin-to-skin contact.
  • Direct contact with another person’s rash, scabs, or bodily fluids.
  • Contact with objects, fabrics, and surfaces used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.

High-Risk Establishments 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified healthcare professionals, laboratory personnel, veterinarians, and similar professions as being at a higher risk of exposure. 

Duties of Employers 

Employers are expected to monitor working conditions at any location where their employees are performing work, to identify hazards that are causing or are likely to cause harm to their employees, and to implement effective methods to control those hazards. 

While Nevada OSHA has not set a standard specifically pertaining to monkeypox, if the agency determines that workers are exposed to an uncontrolled hazard at their workplace, the agency could consider an enforcement action under the Nevada General Duty Clause, NRS 618.375(1). 

Recommendations for Businesses 

Businesses can take proactive steps to mitigate exposure to the monkeypox virus and meet their general duty to protect their employees. Please note that this guidance does not contain new enforceable standards. At this time, neither Nevada OSHA nor the federal OSHA program have promulgated enforceable standards that define monkeypox mitigation requirements. 

For all employers where monkeypox exposure is recognized, the CDC recommends that employers should consider the following standard contact and droplet infection control precautions: 

  • Practice proper hand hygiene using one of the following:
    • Handwashing with soap and water,
    • Antiseptic hand wash,
    • Antiseptic hand rub, or
    • Surgical hand antisepsis. 
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment to include:
    • Gown
    • Gloves
    • Eye protection (goggles or a face shield that covers the front and sides of the face)
    • NIOSH-approved particulate respirator equipped with N95 cartridges or higher 
  • Follow proper cleaning and disinfection procedures to include:
    • Using an EPA-registered hospital grade disinfectant with an emerging viral pathogen claim.
      • A list of these can be found on the EPA List Q. 
  • Healthcare settings should follow the Infection Prevention and Control of Monkeypox in Healthcare Settings guidance provided by CDC. 

In the event of exposure to monkeypox, the CDC recommends that employers take the following steps to prevent spread of the disease:

  • Ensure that workers with monkeypox follow recommended isolation practices.
  • Offer telework or flexible, non-punitive sick leave to workers with monkeypox.
  • Work with your local health department to identify and monitor the health of workers who might have had close contact with someone who has monkeypox.
  • Remember that, in general, people who have been exposed to monkeypox do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work if they remain asymptomatic. 

SCATS is here to help. SCATS can review and make recommendations on best practices and implementation of an employer’s monkeypox protocols. If your business has questions or needs onsite training or consultation, please submit a request by calling 877-472-3368 or submitting a consultation request.

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