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Tuscaloosa business discusses COVID protocols currently in place

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 7:38 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - West Alabama Works held a roundtable discussion recently among some members to see how they’re handling coronavirus among employees.

The human resources director for one of them detailed some of the steps they’re taking to prevent coronavirus from spreading among employees and encouraging them to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Twenty-one employees missed work at Tuscaloosa’s Phifer Incorporated on Thursday. The company has protocols in place if a certain number of workers test positive for coronavirus.

“If we were to hit 2% positive at any given time, 2% for us onsite here is around 30 people. If we were to hit 2%, we have a series of protocols that would go into effect,” according to Russell Dubose, the Director of Human Resources for Phifer.

That includes mask wearing for everyone and implementing temperature checks again. Dubose said employees who have tested positive can return to work 24 hours after they are symptom-free.

“If you’re out more than three days, they apply for FML. But they are not indemnified or unemployment compensation status. So, if they wish to be paid, they have to use their own personal leave benefits. Again why? Because this is preventable,” Dubose continued.

Phifer has also hosted on-site coronavirus vaccine clinics for workers where all three approved vaccines are available.

“We offer $200 incentive for anyone who becomes vaccinated. If you get vaccinated, you get a little vaccination sticker for your badge. That allows you to roam around here mask-free,” Dubose added.

Phifer is also hosting an on-site vaccination clinic for its workers on Wednesday. Whatley Health Services will vaccinate Phifer employees during morning and afternoon vaccination sessions.

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