- Posted by Kistler Tiffany Benefits
- On March 12, 2020
Coronaviruses are fairly common and don’t typically affect humans. When they do, their effects are usually mild, as in the case of the common cold.
However, deadlier variations of these coronaviruses have cropped up in recent years. Two examples of these evolved strains are the SARS virus of 2003 and the novel coronavirus, which was first seen in 2019 and is dominating news headlines in the first few months of 2020. In both instances, the viruses ravaged the populations they infected, illustrating why employers must stay alert to developing outbreaks.
It’s the responsibility of every employer to protect employees from these and other illnesses in the workplace. Taking even small precautions could save an organization countless hours of lost productivity.
As an Employer, Here are Some Action Steps You Can or Should Be Taking Right Now:
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene by all employees.
- Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
- Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
- Clean Common Areas Frequently – Make sure there are plenty of ready to use cleaning supplies nearby all common area surfaces. It’s a team effort to keep a workspace clean. Everyone can contribute to sanitizing the area by wiping down equipment regularly and creating a routine of cleanliness!
- Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
Send out proactive communication from HR Department/Senior Leadership describing your company’s position on coronavirus and the policy your employees need to follow:
- If you have recently traveled outside the US to one of the high-risk areas: currently defined by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) as China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran – it is required that you:
- Work from home for 14 days following your return or potential exposure and inform your manager and Company Corporate HR team of your travel history immediately.
- Do not visit any customers/prospects during those 14 days and declare recent travel to these high-risk areas before resuming your meetings.
- Monitor your health condition closely by taking your temperature twice a day and seek medical treatment immediately if you feel unwell.
- Remain symptom-free for the 14-day incubation period before returning to the office.
As the situation is evolving, please refer to the following resources for the latest updates:
OneDigital Coronavirus HUB: https://www.onedigital.com/coronavirus/
New Jersey: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml
Many medical carriers have issued communication regarding how they plan to support members in the days and weeks ahead. Below is a summary of responses we have received.
- Website Link
- CVS Health COVID-19 Resources for Members – Small Group
- CVS Health COVID-19 Resources for Members – AFA, Fully Insured
- COVID-19 Resource Center