We look at our day-to-day role quite simply: if you are a Mill Valley Chamber member, we work for you, and we're here to help any way we can. To that end, we're providing a bevy of links, information, tips and resources below. But more importantly, we want to identify our blind spots. What are your biggest concerns? What information can we help you find? How can we help? Let us know and we'll get on it. Email us!
What we've heard from our members so far:
- There hasn't been an uptick in employees calling out sick for fear of being exposed.
- Owners /managers are reminding employees to stay home if they're feeling sick at all.
- Owners/managers are stepping up reminders to employees about vigorous, frequent hand washing.
- Employees are avoiding handshakes with customers etc. – elbow bumps and foot-shakes instead.
CDC-recommended strategies for employers to use:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
- Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work.
- Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member.
- Separate sick employees: CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately.
- Respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene:
- Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
- Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
- Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
- Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning:
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace.
All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19 in their workplace in the event of an outbreak in the US. They should identify and communicate their objectives, which may include one or more of the following: (a) reducing transmission among staff, (b) protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications, (c) maintaining business operations, and (d) minimizing adverse effects on other entities in their supply chains. Some of the key considerations when making decisions on appropriate responses are:
- Disease severity (i.e., number of people who are sick, hospitalization and death rates) in the community where the business is located;
- Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and their family members, dismissals of early childhood programs and K-12 schools due to high levels of absenteeism or illness:
- Employers should plan to monitor and respond to absenteeism at the workplace. Implement plans to continue your essential business functions in case you experience higher than usual absenteeism.
- Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace is able to operate even if key staff members are absent.
- Assess your essential functions and the reliance that others and the community have on your services or products. Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).
- Employers with more than one business location are encouraged to provide local managers with the authority to take appropriate actions outlined in their business infectious disease outbreak response plan based on the condition in each locality.
- Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies. For employees who are able to telework, supervisors should encourage employees to telework instead of coming into the workplace until symptoms are completely resolved. Ensure that you have the information technology and infrastructure needed to support multiple employees who may be able to work from home.
- Identify essential business functions, essential jobs or roles, and critical elements within your supply chains (e.g., raw materials, suppliers, subcontractor services/products, and logistics) required to maintain business operations. Plan for how your business will operate if there is increasing absenteeism or these supply chains are interrupted.
- Consider cancelling large work-related meetings or events.
- COVID-19 Website
- What to Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19
- Health Alert Network
- Travelers’ Health Website
- OSHA Guidance: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/novel_coronavirus/index.html
We here at the Chamber have not yet identified a Business Resource webpage form the State of California, but the State of Washington has outlined a number of ways they are prepared to assist their local businesses, including with financial assistance, worker assistance and insurance assistance. We'll update this post as more info from the State of California becomes available.
Again, how can we help? What are we missing? Let us know via email!!