The agency developed a four-tiered hierarchy based on occupational risk, which includes assessing workers’ need to come within 6 feet of individuals who are confirmed or suspected to have the potentially deadly respiratory disease.
Exposure risk categories and workers who may fall within them are:
Very high: Health care and morgue workers performing aerosol-generating procedures on or collecting/handling specimens from potentially infectious patients or bodies of individuals known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19 at the time of death.
High: Health care delivery and support, medical transport, and mortuary workers exposed to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients or bodies of individuals known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19 at the time of death.
Medium: Individuals who may have contact with the general public, including anyone employed in schools, high-population/density work environments and some high-volume retail settings. This category also includes workers returning from locations with widespread COVID-19 transmission.
Lower (caution): Individuals who have minimal occupational contact with the public and other co-workers.
Most workers in the United States likely will be classified in the two lowest risk levels, OSHA claims.