What does the coronavirus mean for my business?

What does the coronavirus mean for my business?

| March 05, 2020

We are monitoring the outbreak of the COVID-19 and its impact on our employees and customers. We encourage businesses to follow the latest guidelines and updates issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for businesses. While the progress of this disease is constantly evolving, here is what we know so far.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus is a new respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan, China. The virus is contagious and potentially fatal. It is suspected that it is transmitted through coughing and sneezing by infected individuals. At the present time, there is no vaccine, cure or specific treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of coronavirus?

Individuals infected with coronavirus have displayed the following symptoms:

  • Mild to severe respiratory illness.
  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Death.

What precautions should I take as a business?

Click here to view a Business Continuity Planning Checklist provided to us by one of our business partners. It walks you through setting up a response team and plans for continuing your business operations should this illness result in disruptions in staffing and supplies.

What you can do now.

Here are some things we have done in our office that may work for you.

All offices are supplied with disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves, disinfectant spray and hand sanitizing liquids, and are in visible and multiple locations throughout the offices. 

Employees are required to stay home if sick, have a fever, coughing or sneezing. It's helpful to be flexible with sick time, Paid Time Off and making allowances to care for sick children at home. 

Any employee who is returning from a vacation to an area that has an outbreak of COVID-19 cannot return to the office for a period of 14 days, but must work from home.  Our technology allows many of our staff to work from home already as needed, and we help with setup and sending necessary equipment home. 

Has the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provided guidance on how to handle coronavirus?

OSHA has issued a fact sheet regarding protecting workers in the case of a global health emergency. Employers should train employees on the following:

  • Differences between seasonal epidemics and worldwide pandemic disease outbreaks.
  • Which job activities may put them at risk for exposure to sources of infection.
  • What options may be available for working remotely, or how to utilize an employer's flexible leave policy when employees are sick.
  • Social distancing strategies, including avoiding close physical contact (e.g., shaking hands) and large gatherings of people.
  • Good hygiene and appropriate disinfection procedures.
  • What personal protective equipment is available, and how to wear, use, clean and store it properly.
  • What medical services (e.g., post-exposure medication) may be available to them.
  • How supervisors will provide updated pandemic-related communications, and where employees should direct their questions.

The foregoing information is provided based on currently known information. As the situation changes, we recommend you continue to check with the CDC for the most up to date and factual information. As always, we are here to help with any questions you may have.