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Advice for Businesses

Here are some steps businesses could take to prevent the spread, and resources on how to get help if exposed.

Monkeypox (hMPXV) cases have recently been identified in the Portland metropolitan area, including in Washington County. The risk to most people remains low. However, some social groups and some employees who come into regular contact with the skin of customers or clients are at higher risk.

If your business includes skin-to-skin or close personal contact with clients or items that their skin has touched, you can take extra steps to prevent the spread.

Workplaces and services that may bring people into contact with the virus include, but are not limited to:

  • Bathhouses
  • Saunas
  • Clubs
  • Hotels and motels
  • Waxing/hair removal
  • Nail salons
  • Massage
  • Alternative care medicine
  • High-touch therapies
  • Gyms

Protect employees and prevent the spread

  • Share information (English) (Spanish)about monkeypox with employees.
  • Ask employees to stay home and seek testing if they have any symptoms.
  • Encourage employees to protect themselves by:
    • Washing hands frequently or using hand sanitizer
    • Wearing gloves:
      • when touching used towels, bedding, clothes, and other items used or worn by customers
      • when touching skin
    • Wearing a well-fitting mask.

Talk to clients before their appointment

  • Ask clients and customers to stay home if they have any symptoms of monkeypox.
  • Let customers know you can’t treat or perform a service on anyone with monkeypox. symptoms. Tell them that services may be stopped if there is a rash present.
  • Consider screening clients by asking if they have a new rash before their service.
  • If possible, stop the service if an employee notices a rash or sores on a client or customer.

Cleaning recommendations

  • In general, COVID-safe cleaning and disinfection practices are adequate for protecting against hMPXV.
  • Employees should wear protective equipment (gloves and a well-fitting mask)
    • while cleaning and disinfecting bedding, towels, robes, and other items touched or worn by customers.
    • while cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are touched often by skin, such as doorknobs, counters, lockers, payment devices, and seating.
  • Use an EPA-registered disinfectant. Follow manufacturer’s directions for use, including concentration, contact time, and care and handling.
  • Focus on disinfecting items and surfaces that may come in direct contact with skin or bodily fluids.
  • See further recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting home and other non-healthcare settings. (CDC).

Get care if exposed

People who believe they have been exposed should seek care and testing from their healthcare provider. If you don't have a provider or are having trouble making an appointment you can call Washington County at 503-846-8851.

A vaccine is available for people who have been exposed, though supplies are limited. If someone gets the vaccine within 14 days after their exposure, it can prevent or help reduce symptoms. If someone has been exposed and wants the vaccine, call 503-988-8939.

Contact us

If you think customers or staff at your worksite have been exposed and you have questions about how to proceed, call our communicable disease line at 503-846-3594.


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