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CDC issues COVID-19 advice for business

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a statement on how businesses can prepare for a potential spread of the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus.

“We’re asking all of our partners, including private sector business … to look at their own policies and guidance (documents) for infectious diseases so that if we do have community spread in the U.S., you don’t want to be trying to find out these specific issues when the first case occurs–you want to know ahead of time … what you would be doing,” said CDC spokesperson Dr. Nancy Messonnier during a teleconference on Feb. 21.

Messonnier urges businesses to have policies in place in advance of an outbreak of an infectious respiratory disease like COVID-19.

The CDC now has a clearly labeled webpage posted on its COVID-19 website with specific and detailed advice for businesses (under the “Information for Specific Groups” tab).

The recommendations include:

  • Businesses should have guidance in place to encourage any sick employees to stay home. Workers who come into work and show signs of illness should be segregated away from others and sent home.
  • Employers should spread and/or post information in the workplace on cough and sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene and staying home if ill.
  • Employers should be prepared to be flexible with sick leave, not only for anyone who is ill but for those who may need to take time to care for sick family members. Messonnier advised that companies should try to have leave policies that are consistent with public health guidelines and stay up to date on the information available from the CDC and their local public health organizations.

The CDC has been holding teleconferences on COVID-19 updates two or more times a week since the end of January. These conferences are being posted as both audio and and written transcripts for public review on the CDC’s COVID-19 website.

On Wednesday, Idaho Gov. Brad Little will host a press conference at 11 a.m. in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office. Representatives from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the Idaho Office of Emergency Management will be on hand to respond to media questions regarding Idaho’s response and preparedness to a potential novel coronavirus outbreak. 

The press conference will be streamed on the Governor’s Facebook page:

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