Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a developing, international public health concern.
At this point, we don’t know to what extent the disease will ultimately impact the Great Lakes Bay Region, but for local businesses and organizations, there are four practical ways to minimize the risks and be prepared for what may come.
1. Stay Educated & Communicate Key Information With Employees
With an evolving situation like this one, information can change daily. It’s imperative to stay informed about Coronavirus, the threat it presents, its spread, who is most at risk, and other important factors.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both have online information portals on the Coronavirus, which provide the most up-to-date information, as well as resources for communicating with your employees.
2. Practice Prevention Through Workplace Cleanliness & Hygiene
All indications are that Coronavirus is a virus that spreads very much like the flu – people can contract it by coming into contact with an infected person, or with items they may have contaminated.
This being the case, there are some basic things you can be doing at your workplace to reduce the likelihood that a disease like Coronavirus could spread easily:
It is very likely that these are all already regular practices at your workplace, but now is a good time to remind employees of their importance. There are many resources available to help describe and promote these items in detail.
3. Carefully Consider Work-Related Travel & Remote Working
If your business or organization regularly sends employees out for contract work or other business travel to areas that may already be affected by Coronavirus, you should be aware of the possible risks involved. Whether you ultimately decide to alter your plans is up to you, and will depend on factors such as cost and feasibility of alternate options, etc.
Similarly, if this situation were to become even more of an issue in our region – for example, if/when cases are diagnosed in our area – remote working is something that could be considered to help avoid possible further spreading of the virus.
4. Plan for Worst Case Scenarios With Policies & Contingency Plans
As Coronavirus begins to directly affect the Great Lakes Bay Region, your business or organization will be impacted less if you already have policies and contingency plans in place.
For example, you should know now what your policy will be if/when an employee or someone with a close connection to your employees is diagnosed with the disease. Much guidance coming out of organizations like the CDC indicates that businesses may already want to encourage employees with any kind of acute respiratory illness – anything similar to or which may be Coronavirus – to stay home from work.
If the situation were to become very serious, more detailed and in-depth crisis management and business continuity plans will be needed. Again, if you’re prepared for a significant public health event ahead of time, you’ll be far more likely to successfully weather it.
Constructing such policies and plans is something an insurance advisor is able to help with.
Making the Complex Simple
It is not clear at this time what the ultimate impact of Coronavirus will be in the Great Lakes Bay Region. However, there are four simple ways for your business or organization to be more prepared, regardless of what comes our way.