What Employers Need to Know about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
March 5, 2020
Updated March 18, 2020
First Stop Health is here to help guide employers through these uncertain times. We are using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to help update the marketplace.
Here's what the CDC currently recommends:
Encourage sick employees to stay home
Provide necessary hand hygiene and cough/sneeze guidelines
Separate employees who become sick at work and send them home immediately
Perform routine workplace cleaning
Advise employees before traveling to take precautions
How Employers Can Protect Their Workforce
Encourage employees to work from home if their jobs can be done remotely. Your business can play an important role in “flattening the curve.” Help employees telecommute with video-conferencing software and collaboration tools.
Anticipate more absenteeism. Employees may need to recover or to care for other family members more often. What procedures are in place to ensure work still gets accomplished? Who will cover for sick employees?
Don’t require a doctor’s note. Doctors’ offices may be unusually busy, which means getting a note may require a long wait on the phone or follow-up visits. Don’t place this burden on employees when they need rest.
Cancel unnecessary travel. The CDC issues travel updates daily. Consider rescheduling conferences, events or other non-essential travel.
Encourage employees to use telemedicine. First Stop Health is not alone in saying that seeking virtual care is the best course, especially when the threat of illness is high. With doctors available 24/7 via mobile app, website or phone, telemedicine is the best choice for many minor illnesses or injuries. The more employees can avoid the sick patients in crowded waiting rooms, the safer they are from getting a new illness — including COVID-19. While FSH doctors cannot test for COVID-19, they can help assess risk. If employees are feeling sick, encourage them to start with telemedicine.