How Coronavirus Could Affect Your Business
The recent coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has caused companies, events and venues across the country to shut down in order to minimize the spread of infection. But making that decision for your business might not be as straightforward. Although many Silicon Valley tech companies have mandated a work-from-home policy, it’s just not that simple for more traditional businesses across the country.
Aftermath offers coronavirus cleanup if disease exposure does become a reality, but we hope that with these tips, you can take proper precautions to prevent outbreak in your workplace.
What is the Coronavirus (aka COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a novel, viral respiratory infection that broke out in Wuhan, China. While there are many strains of coronavirus, and in general they can be responsible for anything from a common cold to SARS & MERS, at this time, the terms COVID-19 and coronavirus are used interchangeably.
Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus Infection
- Dry cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
How can you protect your business?
Outside of knowing the common signs and symptoms and staying in touch with your local news to be informed of community spread, there are more proactive things that you can do as the owner of a business.
Assess your Workplace Cleanliness
There are commonly agreed-upon pieces of advice that healthcare officials across the world are giving us so we can stay as safe as possible from the coronavirus. While these are often seen as common sense, it’s worth reinforcing these habits by placing signs above sinks and in common areas where employees are often using their hands.
- Wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Read more on how to properly wash your hands.
- Remove multi-use cleaning tools. Sponges, brushes, towels, and other cleaning supplies can harbor bacteria for extended periods of time. Instead, opt to use single-use cleaning items.
- Increase cleaning frequency. Increase how often you’re cleaning counters, dishes, and other less-known but commonly used items like doorknobs, fridge handles, etc.
Ensure Employees Know Your Remote Work Policy
Send out a mass email to all of your employees that informs them of your work from home/remote work policies and actively encourage sick people to work from home. Currently, many companies, such as those in Silicon Valley, have implemented mandatory work from home policies to curb infection rates. If one of your employees believes they are sick, they need to know it’s alright to work from home. If you do not have a work from home policy, consider implementing one. Otherwise, reiterate your paid sick leave policies and encourage sick employees to take time off. After all, temporarily hindered productivity is still cheaper than dealing with a full-blown COVID-19 outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:
- Require sick employees to stay home
- Develop non-punitive sick leave policies and do not require a doctor’s note
- Prepare for many employees to stay home (especially in the event of school closures)
- Emphasize good hygiene in the workplace:
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve
- Wash hands frequently
- Frequently clean and disinfect desktops, countertops, and door handles
Postpone Group Scenarios and Business Travel
If at all possible, try to keep social engagements for yourself and employees to a minimum. This means canceling trips to areas that have been hit by the outbreak, staying away from conferences/industry expos, and avoiding unnecessary human contact — including shaking hands. Employ video conferencing software instead of huddling in a conference room. Every large social event an employee attends carries a risk of contracting and bringing back COVID-19.
Know Your Local COVID-19 Resources
Nobody wants local businesses to close because of disease outbreak. In fact, some communities are beginning to offer financial aid to small businesses in order to mitigate lost revenue. For instance, New York recently announced that they will be offering interest-free loans to small businesses with under 100 employees that lose 25% of sales. Some congresspeople have also proposed bills that would reimburse affected communities as if they were experiencing a natural disaster. Be sure to keep up on your local and state politics to see if there are any funding opportunities to make up for any lost productivity you experience.
COVID-19 Cleanup Should Be Performed by a Licensed Professional
It is critical that the cleanup of COVID-19 be done by a company with the proper permitting, training, and experience otherwise you could face potentially catastrophic issues. Don’t put your livelihood or health at risk, rely on a biohazard company that adheres to OSHA, CDC and EPA-approved process, procedures, and virucide chemicals.
With this being such a new phenomenon and having many unknown factors at play, the best thing you can do right now is prepare. If worse comes to worst and your business does happen to experience coronavirus infection, there’s no need to panic. Aftermath offers COVID-19 cleanup to disinfect your office. We adhere to a stringent coronavirus demobilization process for our equipment, trucks and waste storage areas and also have the proper licensing/permitting.
For more information on our coronavirus cleaning methods, visit our website or call 877-769-6917.