The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak a pandemic. There are now 118,322 laboratory-confirmed cases around the world and rising.[i]
In the same short time span that the virus traveled around the world, scientists have sequenced its genome and shared it online, which has resulted in worldwide response to create vaccines and use A.I. to beat the disease. However, quarantine, self-quarantine and social distancing have become the top responses to hopefully prevent the disease's fast-moving transmission.
Businesses have been impacted globally and it remains to be seen how the stopping of services - like airlines flying in and out of China - along with the quarantine of workers will disrupt tourism, production and supply chains in the coming months.
How is your business responding?
- PR firm, Edelman, has created a task force to help companies navigate
the current media landscape as companies grapple with how to engage media, scenario plan for upcoming events, and execute regulatory milestones and consumer activations planned for March and beyond. They have co-authored an article with Dr. David Nabarro, World Health Organization Special Envoy for COVID-19, about the recommended role of the most trusted institution, "my employer," as the outbreak continues.
- Is your company contemplating postponing or cancelling upcoming volunteer activities due to the concern for community transmission of COVID-19? What about turning those in-person activities into virtual opportunities as a precaution? Here's our list of the best virtual engagements out there.
- Or, are there "kitting" projects that can be completed if you share supplies with employees who are working from home? Can you create and distribute "projects in a box" that contain supplies for activities such as no sew fleece blankets that an employee can ship or distribute to a nonprofit in their community?
- How else is coronavirus impacting your business? Is your Operations team in the midst of updating their preparedness and response plans? Is your company scaling back employee travel and postponing in-person events? Advocating for more work-from-home days? Read this recent Fast Company article to find out how corporate HR leaders are preparing in the wake of the coronavirus.
- Here are seven ideas for what philanthropy can do to effectively contribute during the outbreak written by Lauren Smith, Co-CEO of FSG.
- Check out the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Aid Tracker where companies can submit their relief efforts and find out what others are doing in response to the coronavirus.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has also collected a series of online resources to help companies plan their response strategy.
- Visit the World Health Organization’s webpage on the coronavirus for daily updates.
- Check out the CDC's recommended strategies for employers. It not new news, but still helpful reminders to share with your HR leaders.