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COVID-19 Latest Updates

Friday, March 13, 2020 by Brian Anderson

At the Greater Akron Chamber, we understand the impact that disruptions and uncertainty can have on our business community.  Therefore, we’re working to compile relevant information to help our businesses minimize the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19 disease.  Below are actions that you can take, or continue to take, to put yourselves in a stronger position to manage through this event.  This (4+ minute) video by the World Health Organization is an excellent summary of what is currently known about the COVID-19 coronavirus.  By taking action to separate and educate people and to prepare and repair your environment, both local and federal health experts agree you’ll reduce the risks to your employees, customers, and business.

Because the virus that causes COVID-19 can pass person-to-person, commonly through respiratory particles (i.e. coughing and sneezing), physically separating people will significantly reduce the risk of transmission.  Any employee who is sick, or who otherwise exhibits symptoms associated with the COVID-19 disease, such as respiratory illness or fever, should stay home.  Utilizing existing flexible paid sick-leave or remote work-from-home policies, or else implementing them – even if on a short-term basis – if none currently exist in your business, will increase the likelihood of ill or potentially ill employees self-identifying as ill, and avoiding coming to work, thereby reducing the risk of transmission across the rest of the office. This is especially important in the food services industry, where removing the economic incentive for ill employees to come to work can have a tremendous positive impact on reducing transmission of this virus.  For additional consideration on altering work-from-home or sick-leave policies during this health event, click here.

Beyond enabling ill or potentially ill employees to avoid coming to work, physically separating the employees that do come into work, to the extent possible, can further reduce the risk of transmission.  Opting to hold meetings via telephone or video conference, rather than gathering in a conference room, for example; enabling work-from-home opportunities; and other measures can go a long way to reduce risk, as individuals may contract the coronavirus and not exhibit symptoms for days.  We have, like many other organizations, postponed a large gathering we are hosting, and encourage careful consideration of what types of gatherings are essential or not.  Harvard Business Review contributors suggest that managers should not hesitate to keep potentially symptomatic or high-risk individuals separated or away, be they employees or visitors. 

Beyond separating people, education is crucial.  At the Chamber we’re not shying away from “over doing it,” fully adopting the CDC’s guidance on proper hygiene etiquette and keeping our environment clean.  We’re reminding each other ad nauseum to wash hands often and sufficiently (i.e. scrubbing with soap lather for at least 20 seconds) – for a helpful poster to circulate, click here.  We’re bringing extra attention to proper coughing and sneezing etiquette: try to do so into a tissue – thoroughly washing your hands immediately after, as well as disinfecting any surfaces touched during the process – and if unable to use a tissue, cough or sneeze into the sleeve of your upper arm.  For more information on proper coughing or sneezing etiquette, click here.

The CDC recommends repeatedly disinfecting your workplace, so we’re spraying and wiping-down common surfaces like doorknobs, countertops, restrooms, and workstations.  While certain cleaning products seem to be flying off the shelves, and you might not have a full stock of everything you want on-hand, it is critical to go over common surfaces to the extent possible, as the coronavirus can survive on surfaces for several hours at least (for more information on environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations, click here). 

For help navigating the various HR-related decisions we have to make given the evolving circumstances and recommendations from local and national leaders, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) weighed in on what managers should and should not do.  These SHRM resources, including memo templates on illness prevention, travel suspension, and telecommuting arrangements; policy recommendations; and HR-related news updates can help you manage your business through this pandemic.

The National Small Business Association (NSBA) is holding a briefing call on Monday, March 16, 2020, at 1pm ET.  The topic of the call will be the coronavirus and what it means for small businesses.  You can find more information and a link to register for the call here.

Lastly, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is receiving additional funding for its Disaster Assistance Loans, which can help small businesses cover various expenses, including operating costs, in response to a disaster.  Information on their Economic Injury Loans and other funding available that can help alleviate the effects of COVID-19 on businesses, click here.

Following these basic guidelines from the CDC and business leaders will help reduce our risks and curtail the spread of this virus and disease.  If you have further questions, concerns, or recommendations, we’d like to hear from you.
Posted: Friday, March 13, 2020 by Brian Anderson | with 19 comments

I thank you for the information! I was looking for and could not find. You helped me!
10/22/2020 9:43:19 AM
couvreur saint hyacinthe
Covid19 est en train de changer l'economie. Heureusement pour nous, comme nous travaillons dehors, nous ne sommes pas impacte par les restriction. Nous pouvons continuer d'installer des toits ou de reparer des toitures
10/3/2020 3:33:54 PM
saint jean chauffage
Thanks for those filtered information. WE can find so much material online, but a lot are not accurate.
10/1/2020 12:44:23 PM
Aluminum Siding
Nice information! Thanks for keeping us updated!
9/28/2020 5:25:10 PM
powerful pressure washing service
We offer our services free to affected areas.
9/28/2020 3:23:30 PM
plumbing services in Arlington
Thanks for the update! It is essential to know what going on.
9/28/2020 2:37:17 PM
fence contractor San Mateo CA
Very useful info. Thanks!
9/17/2020 12:03:34 PM
Pest Control Services
Very helpful information, we agree that by taking action to separate and educate people and to prepare and repair your environment, you’ll reduce the risks to your employees, customers, and business.
9/17/2020 3:22:43 AM
bathroom remodeling contractors San Bernardino
Social distancing is so important! If well all practice it and wear masks we have a real chance of fighting this thing.
9/4/2020 12:01:15 PM
bathroom remodeling contractors San Bernardino
Social distancing is so important! If well all practice it and wear masks we have a real chance of fighting this thing.
9/4/2020 12:00:33 PM
Window Restoration Boston
The more info we have on this virus the better!
9/3/2020 2:02:54 PM
Boat Seat Repair Jacksonville FL
Thanks for the update! Any more info we can get is useful.
8/17/2020 7:30:26 PM
New Home Builder NH
Excellent info! Very well laid out.
8/6/2020 12:17:14 PM
leather chair button replacement Boston
Great info. Is it alright if I share this?
7/23/2020 9:23:38 AM
Wollongong Window Cleaning
It’s been comforting to see companies meet the COVID-19 challenges with such creativity, heart and kindness. It’s easy to be a leader when things are going well, but much tougher to lead when things are going badly. Compassionate brands across the country are stepping up.
7/23/2020 4:25:43 AM
Pro Painters
Things are hard right now. But there are some things that are making me smile including, Zoom dance parties, puppies frolicking in an aquarium and inspiring companies responding to COVID-19 with genuine compassion.
7/23/2020 4:17:10 AM
gas fitters
I personally want to congratulate those countries who was able to recover from sudden hit of the virus. Now we are entering new normal, stuff are slowly getting back. But not the same as before.
6/2/2020 3:27:31 AM
tree removal
Kudos to the companies who helped on aiding everyone get through this situation. Most of the services are through deliveries. It is heartwarming that this virus restored humanity somehow. We really appreciate this blog, thanks.
5/26/2020 6:21:46 AM
Akron Junk Removals
This article was very helpful! Due COVID-19, we have been taking video calls from clients to get a look at the junk they are interested in getting rid of. It has really helped us to keep our business going while also giving the customer peace of mind that we don't have to come in any direct contact.
4/22/2020 12:35:34 AM
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