General guidance for businesses on how to prepare for and respond to COVID-19
The following information is adapted from the CDC’s interim guidance for businesses and employers on how to prepare and respond to COVID-19.
- Designate an individual or team to monitor the CDC site at least daily and take advantage of public briefings by the CDC. Additionally, it is important that you follow guidance from the individual state and local departments of health. Decisions that may impact workplaces will be coming from state and community leadership.
- Consider the impact of COVID19 on your vendors and supply chain. Depending upon your organization, the disease’s impact on business continuity may be more significant, remembering that your vendor supply chains may also be affected.
- Review your sick-leave and time-off policies. Ensure leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidelines. Review the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) programs and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) practices. While employees should disclose symptoms of COVID-19 to their manager and/or human resources, privacy and confidentiality of such information needs to be protected. Discussion and review of your practices with legal counsel is warranted
- Review your travel policies. Consider limiting travel by employees. Abide by the CDC recommendation to eliminate travel to restricted areas.
- Screen visitors and vendors. This includes travel within the last 14 days to impacted areas, including immediate household members; or symptoms of fever, cough, or illness. Talk with vendors and companies that provide services to your company about the importance of sick employees staying home.
- Do not require employees to obtain physician notes to return to work. Do not require physician notes to return to work due to respiratory illness as this is causing unnecessary trips to medical facilities, which may further expose workers and take clinicians away from those most in need.
- Arrange alternate work arrangements. Look for opportunities to do business in ways that don’t require face-to-face contact. Recognize that many of your own customers will be developing policies to try and limit social interaction to reduce the spread of this virus.
- Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout work areas. Have disinfectant wipes available in areas where surfaces may need to be wiped down.
- Increase sanitation efforts. Increase cleaning and disinfection of the workplace, particularly in high-touch areas. Consider eliminating the use of refillable water stations and other open and unprotected food stations.
For other COVID-19 resources to help protect your workplace, employees, and customers please click here.