Are Companies Ready for COVID-19? Maybe!

As of March 05, 2020 at the time this article is being written, more than 98,000 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported internationally. State and local public health departments reported 99 cases in the US. [1]


So far, 50% of the cases were travel-related and person-to-person spread . [1, and 2]

Let's dive deeper into one example to show the critical role that enterprises play in proactively addressing this situation! 



You’ve probably received emails (similar the example below) in the past few days around the subject of COVID-19. 


- - - -

The health and well-being of our employees is our top priority. We are monitoring the situation ... 

- - - -



These emails are important steps toward recognizing the seriousness of the situation and increasing the company awareness. Yet, they generally tend to have an open-ended nature and provide reactive guidance for the issues as they arise. It is up to the directors, team managers, group leaders, and engineers among others to come up with a set of actionable items that individuals can rely on, follow, and hold themselves and others accountable to. An itemized bulletin which proactively evaluates what works best for the teams, and the projects in terms of performance, operation, short and long-term delivery schedule and expectation.

To this end, the following email serves as an example with a set of actionable items through a radical transparency and open-mindedness that received positive feedback;



Dear Advanced Analytics Mavens,  

We ask that everyone participate and take precautions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 corona-virus disease in our offices and around the globe. 


WORK FROM HOME:

  • Work From Home is suggested and approved for the next two weeks. It will be updated with any new developments as we learn them.

  • If you have concerns regarding any potential issues with working from home including technology, performance, distraction, and workload, please communicate about it with your manager/team leader.


OFFICE:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use the alcohol-based sanitizers and antiviral cleaning products which will be available in every department, room and common space. Please cover your mouths with a tissue whenever you sneeze, and avoid touching your mouth/nose/eyes and avoid using a coworker's desk, chair, phone, office, computer, or other work tools and equipment if possible. If unavoidable, please clean it first with a disinfectant.

  • Face-to-face meetings are prohibited until further notice. Please consider using Zoom, and other multi-communication alternatives. If a face-to-face meeting is absolutely necessary please coordinate with your Director and manager.


TRAVEL:

  • Business travel to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Japan, and Italy is prohibited until further notice. Additional locations may be added based on CDC recommendations.

  • Feel free to reschedule all client travel, and provide alternative solutions. Please coordinate directly with your client and product managers. 


OTHER PROTECTIVE MEASURES:

  • We strongly discourage employees from traveling for personal reasons to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Japan, or Italy. Any employee who has traveled to these locations within the past two weeks (whether for business or personal reasons) or who comes in close contact with someone (e.g., a roommate, spouse or partner) who has traveled to one of these countries within the past two weeks should monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days and may be asked to stay at home based on the latest CDC recommendations.

  • If you have a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, we ask that you stay home until you have completely recovered. Should you experience flu-like symptoms, especially a fever and cough in combination, please stay at home and see your physician and contact your Director.


We will continue to monitor information and advice from the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization so that we can respond quickly on this important issue. We will keep you posted with any new developments as we learn them. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

Stay Safe!


More Information can be found at the link below:

CDC, Information about COVID-19 in the United States, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

World Health Organization, Coronavirus Advisory Information, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public






REFERENCES:

1- Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Interactive map and reporting system by Johns Hopkins CSSE, et. al. https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

2- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

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