Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response Plan
Issue Date March 14, 2020
This program applies to the operations of BIZPORT, Ltd and its contractors.
Purpose and Scope
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response Plan Procedure (Procedure) provides BIZPORT personnel and contractors with information and activities that the Company will undertake in response to the COVID-19 threat.
Implementation of this Procedure is the responsibility of the various departments referenced below. BIZPORT’s Owner, Director of Operations, and Facility General Managers have the responsibility of implementing the Procedure at the facility or site, typically this would occur when it has been confirmed that multiple cases of the (COVID-19) has been reported within a 50 mile radius of the facility or site; or as being reported for that geographic area by the CDC, State or Local Government Agency responsible for health and human services
Pre Outbreak Precautionary Measures
The following measures will be taken by BIZPORT when there are indications of a potential outbreak of an infectious disease identified by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- 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 (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- BIZPORT will ensure sick leave policies are consistent with public health guidance and applicable federal and state leave programs and those employees are aware of these policies.
- Based upon the severity of the outbreak in the geographic area of the facility, the Facility General Manager, working with Ownership, may modify the attendance policy as to not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are absent for no more than 5-workdays with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such timely documentation.
- BIZPORT may implement attendance policy modifications that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member, as noted above, based on the severity of the outbreak in the geographical area of the facility.
- Separate sick employees:
- BIZPORT will ensure that policies are in place for 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 they to be separated from other employees and be immediately sent home. 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).
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
- Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to workplaces and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen. Examples of these documents can be found on the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/tools-resources/educational-materials.html)
- 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 and adequately supply soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. 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, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
- When practical, provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down before each use.
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:
- Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country of potential travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China can be found at on the CDC website.
- Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
- Encourage telecommuting when possible, especially in any case of present symptoms or local outbreak
- Eliminate any non-essential business travel and instead leverage available teleconferencing technology
- Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
- Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, BIZPORT will inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Possible COVID-19 Outbreak Planning
The severity of illness or how many people will fall ill from COVID-19 is unknown at this time. If there is evidence of a COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., BIZPORT plans to be able to respond in a flexible way to varying levels of severity and be prepared to refine their business response plans as needed. The CDC and its partners will continue to monitor national and international data on the severity of illness caused by COVID-19, will disseminate the results of these ongoing surveillance assessments, and will make additional recommendations as needed. BIZPORT will closely monitor the recommendations from the CDC and will plan and implement programs accordingly.
- Planning Considerations
BIZPORT will consider how best to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace in the event of an outbreak in the US. BIZPORT will consider the following in support of 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 the supply chains.
- Disease severity (i.e., number of people who are sick, hospitalization and death rates) in the community where operations are located;
- Impact of disease on employees that are vulnerable and may be at higher risk for COVID-19 adverse health complications. Inform employees that some people may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
- 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:
- BIZPORT will monitor and respond to absenteeism at the workplace and implement plans to continue our essential business functions in the event of 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 the essential functions and the reliance that others and the community have on services or products. Be prepared to change business practices if needed to maintain critical operations.
Outbreak Program Principles
- Flexible: Continuous change in conditions results in a program and plan that can evolve and continuously developed and reviewed
- Tested: Exercise using the plan, to find out ahead of time whether the plan has gaps or problems that need to be corrected
- Communicated: Ongoing communication with employees to explain what human resources policies, workplace flexibilities, and benefits will be available
- Collaborative: Continue learning from best practices of others and guidance from authorities such as the CDC
- Empowering: BIZPORT will provide facility managers with the authority to take appropriate actions outlined in the Company infectious disease outbreak response plan based on the condition in each locality.
- Localized: Each facility is encouraged to coordinate with state and local health officials so that timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses. Since the intensity of an outbreak may differ according to geographic location, local health officials will be issuing guidance specific to their communities.