COVID-19 SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Coronavirus Information for Employers and Employees
UPDATES ON 3/27/2020
Utah has 480 COVID-19 confirmed cases as of 1:00 PM today and has had 2 deaths. Bear River Health District still has 9 cases of the virus (5 in Cache Valley).
Schedule an appointment now to give in the days ahead to help patients counting on lifesaving blood throughout this pandemic. Utah faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. While coronavirus has caused concerns about whether it’s safe to give blood, donation centers have implemented thorough safety protocols to make the blood donation process even safer. Learn more about blood donations and other ways you can help.
Summit County Residents Ordered to Shelter-in-Place
The order goes into effect Friday, Mar. 27, at 12:01 AM. Non-essential visitors are asked to leave and non-essential businesses will close.
A Message from Intermountain Healthcare’s President and CEO
There is valuable information in this link – please use it as a reference. Included in this are community testing sites, a testing decision graphic, virtual classes, and much more.
UPDATES ON 3/25/2020
Utah has 346 COVID-19 cases as of 1:00 PM today. Thankfully, Utah still has only had 1 death. Bear River Health District now has 6 confirmed cases of the virus (up 2 from yesterday).
Utah Leads Together
The Utah Leads Together economic response plan recognizes the value of facing uncertainty with a dynamic, data-informed, and unified plan. It gives structure and order, to what can otherwise be an unclear and difficult reality.
The plan conveys three phases of response: urgent, stabilization, and recovery. These phases help businesses correctly balance the health of employees with planning imperatives necessary for continuing operations. You can read the whole plan below, or view the plan and a summary of the first phase on the Resources for Business page.
UPDATES ON 3/24/2020
Utah has 298 COVID-19 cases as of 1:00 PM today. Luckily, we still only have 1 death (Davis County) and Bear River Health District still has 4 confirmed cases of the virus (3 of the 4 are in Cache County).
Non-elective surgeries restricted
The state is restricting non-essential surgeries until April 25 to protect the supply of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.
Equipment donations needed and opportunities to volunteer
Three legislators who are also doctors are urging businesses who use personal protective equipment to donate N95 face masks, gloves, and other protective equipment. Sign up to donate your unopened, commercial supplies at coronavirus.utah.gov/help/. That same site offers opportunities to volunteer.
UPDATES ON 3/23/2020
Unfortunately Utah had 181 cases yesterday and we have 257 today and 1 death occurred in Davis County from COVID-19. Bear River Health District now has 4 confirmed cases of the virus (3 of the 4 are in Cache County).
Childcare for working parents
iMpact UTAH has some great ideas for helping businesses
Unemployment Insurance for companies:
Temporary Sick Leave Form
Gossner Foods created for their employees and you may wish to consider something like it:
Temporary Sick Leave Request Form
UPDATES ON 3/20/2020
- No deaths have occurred from COVID-19 in Utah
- Cache Valley still just has 2 confirmed cases of the virus (same as yesterday)
Please check back regularly as this page will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
The Utah Department of Health is actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19), and Governor Gary Herbert has established the Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force, chaired by Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, to facilitate and disseminate information, marshal resources, and ensure an appropriate response to a potential outbreak in Utah. Individuals and families have been urged to prepare themselves and work within their communities to prevent the spread of disease. Steps recommended by the Utah Department of Health include:
- Avoid non-essential travel to China.
- Avoid travel and contact with other people if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
More information—particularly concerning treatment for the coronavirus are available through the Utah Department of Health.
The Chamber and the Utah Business Community
This web page will serve as an interactive resource and while its focus will be on businesses – large and small – as well as entrepreneurs and others related to Utah’s private sector, it is available to anyone seeking information, and we encourage you to use it as part of a complete set of tools that include:
- The Utah Department of Health (UDH)
- The United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- The University of Utah Department of Public Safety
- Intermountain Healthcare
- Utah Department of Workforce Services
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce – National news
Best Business Practices
The highest priority of any business is to protect the health, safety, and life of employees and clients. Every decision emanates from that single objective, including guidelines employees have within their places of business, the flexibility and encouragement they are given to attend to their own health needs — as well as those of their families — and a supportive workplace environment that has considered and prepared for disruptions in services, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and supply chains.
While many, if not most, businesses may never experience an incident of coronavirus on their premises, almost all will feel the effects of the illness if only through disruptions in the stock market; a break in the supply chain; legitimate concerns among employees; and shortages of pharmaceuticals, health care supplies, and other resources that may be required for needs unrelated to coronavirus, or that may leave a company unprepared for subsequent emergencies. These are best addressed by advance planning, considering the resources and best practices that encourage healthy engagement and behaviors within the business environment, at the employee’s home, and support throughout the community.
Best practices encouraged by business and health care experts separate into two categories, those who are not feeling well or suspect they have the coronavirus and those who are feeling well and need to take precautions.
Those who believe they may have been exposed to coronavirus or who are not feeling well should:
- Be actively encouraged to remain at home except to receive health care.
- Stay separate and apart from individuals and animals within the home.
- Call the doctor before visiting to describe symptoms and receive instructions.
- Wear a face mask in public and among household companions.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean hands and wash often with soap and water for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid sharing household items.
- Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day.
- Have clothing and bedding washed as frequently as possible.
- Monitor symptoms and inform healthcare professionals, particularly if they worsen.
- Confirm illness and contagion have passed before returning to work or public engagement.
- 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. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
Those who are feeling well and have no reason to believe they have been exposed to coronavirus should proceed as they would during any cold and flu season:
- Perform hand hygiene frequently.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Try to remain in open spaces with good air flow.
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise.
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, and clothing items with workmates.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, desk- and tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, and tablets, every day.
- Sanitize workspaces and public transportation areas like handles and stabilizing bars in subway cars, as well as arm rests and tray tables in buses, trains, and airplanes.
- Wash clothing regularly.
- Maintain a comfortable distance in conversations and tight working environment, such as two or more gathered around a computer.
- Consider replacing a handshake with a fist bump or friendly salute.
For additional information, please see Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Space for doctors: Many health systems are asking people to reschedule non-essential medical visits and call before visiting a walk-in clinic to allow medical staff to focus on the COVID-19 crisis. This is particularly important if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 because of the importance of protecting others from exposure.
State officials are encouraging everyone to take serious precautions, especially staying at least six-feet away from other people and staying home if showing any symptoms.
Best Practices for Restaurants and Retailers
UPDATE: Food service prohibitions — The Utah Department of Health has ordered ALL UTAH restaurants and bars to close their dining rooms, effective Wednesday, March 18, at 11:59 p.m. Take-out, delivery and grocery shopping is still permitted but with tighter rules.
Below are some best practices and tips gleaned from the efforts of local businesses and others around the country.
- Let the World Know You Are Open: If you are open, make sure the public knows about it. Share on social media and your other available channels.
- Share and Show Your Proactive Health Measures: Let customers know how you are maintaining a healthy environment. Promote it in your store and in the digital world. Customers want to be reassured that your business is a safe place. This may include how you are sanitizing public areas, ensuring your employees are healthy and providing tips for shoppers and patrons. Be conspicuous about cleaning. Make hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer obvious for customers. Check soap dispensers often and keep them supplied.
- Consider Curbside Pick-up and Meal Options for Customers Practicing “Social Distancing”: Promote carry-out and delivery options that your customers can use to enjoy your products and prepared food at home.
- No Sick Employees: Take extra measures to ensure your employees only come to work healthy. Monitor and incentivize employees’ health and healthy practices. Require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, fever, cold, or flu, or have traveled to regions where the virus has been active. Some employers are adjusting PTO and compensation policies. Many are creating work-at-home policies. A sick team is more expensive than making accommodations for a potentially sick team member.
- Payment Processing: When possible, encourage contactless payment methods, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, or tap to pay credit cards. If cash is necessary, it is recommended you use gloves to handle transactions, changing them regularly to avoid contamination.
- Surface and Equipment Sanitation: Frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces and objects, including countertops and tables, point-of-sale systems, doorknobs, faucet handles, and menus. This practice may need to be completed more frequently than normal. As a reminder, sanitizing solution should be changed at least once every four hours.
- Handwashing, Handwashing, Handwashing: Yes, it’s Prevention 101. It is proven that the best method is to wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is helpful but not as effective as proper handwashing.
- Contain Coughing and Sneezing: Provide tissues in prominent locations for employees and customers. Include readily-accessible, no-touch disposal receptacles. Employees should wash hands immediately after coughing or sneezing, especially when food service is involved. Avoid touching your face as much as possible.