While city, county and state governments rush to reopen the economy in an attempt to lessen the financial damage caused by the months of quarantine closures, many business owners remain conflicted and confused about how to move forward in the midst of a continuing crisis that has no end in sight. Despite being given the government’s authorization to do so, does it make ethical or common sense to ask employees and customers to return to “normal life” with new coronavirus cases on the rise? Will waiting a couple of extra weeks or making accommodations for employees to continue to work from home save your company more money in the long run and assist with decreasing the spread of the highly contagious virus? Should that even be a concern when your bank accounts and emotions are stressed to the maximum? These are extremely hard questions that must be answered by each business owner, however, every business will need to create a safer, low-risk environment for their employees and customers.
To assist in making the decision, it may help to create a budget and outline of work that will need to be completed to meet the basic guidelines to protect your workers and customers, including:
- Performing a detailed risk assessment and creating a site-specific protection plan;
- Training employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes how to screen themselves for symptoms and when to stay home;
- Setting up individual control measures and screenings;
- Putting disinfection protocols in place; and
- Establishing physical distancing guidelines.
It’s important that employees with COVID-19 know they should stay home. Your sick leave policies will need to support that, and employees should have information on how to access care from their health insurance carrier. Regency West Insurance remains available to assist you and your employees in obtaining this information and making claims with your carrier.
We continue to wish everyone good health and look forward to the day when we can look back on this time period as a learning experience we do not wish to repeat. We have included a couple of helpful pdfs and links to California government websites for additional information:
- Government programs supporting COVID-19 sick leave and workers’ compensation
- State of California COVID19 website: Links to State Reopening Guidelines, County ReOpening Map, Industry Guidance, Stay Home Q&A
- California Business and Employers State & Federal Assistance: Links to broad assistance being offered to small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19.
- California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) website: Links to Guidance Documents, Daily Alerts, Case Numbers & Statistics