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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
MAR 11, 2020
How Your Workplace Can Prepare for Coronavirus
At Amerisure, we’re committed to keeping workers safe. With the growing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States, there are new safety risks to consider.
We’re offering the following strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to help your business plan for COVID-19 exposure.
How it spreads
COVID-19 is spread mainly from person to person. This includes:
Between people who are in close contact with one another (about six feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main cause of the virus.
Many people are also concerned about community spread from individuals who are not sick. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Those who appear to spread the virus without being sick are generally spreading it before showing symptoms.
How employees can prevent illness
There are several things employees can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Stay home if you feel ill or have a fever above 100.4F.
Do not return to work until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without symptom-relieving medication.
Cough and sneeze into your elbow to keep droplets covered and away from others.
Wash hands regularly and thoroughly, especially after coughing or sneezing, or using shared facilities and items.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when handwashing with soap and water is unavailable.
Perform routine environmental cleaning procedures.
How employers can prepare
Employers should have a plan in place for COVID-19 exposure in their geographic area or business. In addition to practicing proper handwashing and keeping the business clean, the following is recommended:
Consider how to identify persons who may be at risk, and support them, without inviting stigma and discrimination into the workplace. This may include persons who have recently travelled to an area reporting cases, or other personnel who have conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness (e.g. diabetes, heart and lung disease, older age).
Encourage sick employees to stay home and consider alterations to time-off procedures to accommodate those feeling ill.
Promote teleworking across your organization, if possible.
Develop a contingency and business continuity plan for an outbreak in the communities where your business operates. Seek the input and guidance of local health authorities when developing this plan.
Remember, now is the time to prepare for COVID-19. Simple precautions and planning can make a big difference in limiting exposure and spread. Action now will help protect your employees and your business.
For the most up-to-date information, consult the following sources:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The World Health Organization