Virginia is the first state to put such standards in place.

According to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, the Commonwealth is implementing new safety standards for workplaces, in an effort to combat the coronavirus. Virginia is the first state to do so.

These new standards were announced by the Governor this past Wednesday, when he made the following statement: 

“Workers should not have to sacrifice their health and safety to earn a living, especially during an ongoing global pandemic .... In the face of federal inaction, Virginia has stepped up to protect workers from COVID-19, creating the nation’s first enforceable workplace safety requirements. Keeping Virginians safe at work is not only a critical part of stopping the spread of this virus, it’s key to our economic recovery and it’s the right thing to do.”

Courtesy of Target Corporate

A few of the standards that will be implemented include:

  • Having employees practice social distancing measures, as well as using face coverings if they are in customer-facing positions and social distancing can't be practiced 
  • Frequently cleaning high-contact surfaces
  • Making hand washing or hand sanitizer accessible 
  • Letting all employees know if another tests positive for COVID-19 within 24 hours of testing
  • Not permitting employees who are known or suspected of being positive for the coronavirus to return to work, until after they receive at least two consecutive negative tests or don't return for a total of 10 days.

The Department of Labor and Industry's website will post the official standards once they're fully completed, which shouldn't be until the week of July 27. 

As of right now, these standards will last for at least 6 months, although they can be made permanent through the process defined in state law. Employees will be trained to learn these standards within 60 days.

What do you think of these new standards? Share in the comments!