On February 13, 2020, we reported on recent guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for businesses to plan and protect their workplaces from exposure to 2019-nCoV, or the “2019 novel coronavirus.” With recent media attention on the potential spread of the virus within the U.S., the CDC has published additional recommendations for businesses to ensure continuity of operations in the event of a pandemic.
Preventatively, the CDC continues to recommend that employers direct sick employees to stay home, encourage all employees to practice proper respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene, and perform regular routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
To minimize business interruption in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., the CDC recommends that employers take the following steps to develop what the CDC calls an “infectious disease outbreak response plan”:
Employers should involve employees in developing any outbreak response plan. Communicating the specifics of the outbreak response plan to employees in advance of an outbreak will help identify any lapses in the plan and also allow employees to prepare.