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HR Expert Outlines How to Avoid Coronavirus

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March 4, 2020—Cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) are now confirmed in 14 states.

Jaime Klein, the founder of Inspire Human Resources, has outlined tips for minimizing disruption to companies and the workforce. 

Communication:

  • Make sure expert medical information is readily available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuously updating its coronavirus webpage. In every communication you provide to your employees regarding the illness, remind them to check the CDC for up-to-date medical information and guidance.
  • Offer time with health insurance representatives who can answer your employees’ questions around their coverage and care options.

Prevention:

  • Encourage hand hygiene by reminding employees of the importance of washing their hands for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing their noses. 
  • Require employees to stay home when they are not feeling well. And make sure your culture promotes this in practice, without fear of reprisal. If your leaders come to the office coughing and sneezing, in other words, “powering through,” your employees will take that as an example of what is expected of them.

Planning:

  • Create or update your disaster resource plan. Do you have a plan for communication, safety, travel, and other work expectations should a natural disaster, crisis, or epidemic hit? If not, now is the time to create one.
  • Update your employee policies around sick leave and remote work, including when an employee is caring for someone who is ill. More employees may wish to work remotely in the coming weeks to reduce their exposure. Equip your managers with a clear policy. This means thinking through your approach for employees who are not able to perform their jobs offsite, for example: restaurant workers, machine-operators, and veterinarians, among many others.

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