We are committed to providing a safe working environment for our clients, technicians, and vendors. We are also committed to helping other businesses prepare to deal with this unprecedented challenge. If you’re a business owner in the Central Ohio area that needs assistance evaluating your preparedness for an infectious disease response, give us a call at 614-328-9797 or send us a message.
How you can prepare for an infectious disease response
The COVID-19 virus represents a serious threat to business continuity. Businesses should start preparing now for a potential infectious disease response.
Prepare or review a disaster recovery plan that includes an infectious disease response plan
A well-written, up-to-date disaster recovery plan empowers your organization with the tools to make effective business decisions in an emergency situation. Your disaster recovery plan should identify key staff members, business processes, and infrastructure while outlining a plan to continue business operations in the event of a disruption. These plans should be reviewed and tested annually, at a minimum.
Evaluate business processes to determine any roadblocks to allowing staff members to work off-site
Having a decentralized office environment is the single most effective weapon against the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Staff can work off-site by utilizing VPN and remote desktop technologies. If some key aspects cannot be done off-site, consider splitting your staff into multiple rotating on-site, off-site teams with non-overlapping schedules. Non-overlapping teams will slow the spread of an infection by ensuring an entire team isn’t exposed as the same time.
Allow staff members to work off-site before infection hits
Once you’ve evaluated which staff members can work off-site, encourage workers to begin working off-site before an infectious disease hits the office. This will not only insulate your organization from the risk of exposing an entire office to the virus at once, it will also allow you to test and refine your disaster recovery procedures before they become critical to business operations.
Maintain a list of visitors
Maintaining a list of visitors to your office is valuable in an infectious disease scenario. Being able to quickly and accurately identify visitors allows you to pinpoint which visitors to notify in the event of possible infectious disease exposure. Additionally, maintaining a visitor list builds confidence by customers that your business takes the well-being of your staff and customers seriously.
The CDC makes several recommendations for employers in regards to limiting the spread of disease.
- Employees should be encouraged wash their hands often (ideally after any face-to-face contact).
- Because COVID-19 is so contagious, employers should strongly encourage sick employees to remain at home.
- Employers should review their sick leave policies and should consider making temporary, emergency changes to leave policies in order to ensure employees don’t feel pressured to attend work while sick.
- Consider posting health guidelines around the office. The CDC provides several printable resources that might be useful for businesses.
- Make hand sanitizer and other cleaning products available around the office. Employees should familiarize themselves the the “contact time” requirement of the cleaning products. Cleaning products are only effective if the surface remains “wet” long enough for the disinfectant to work.
Businesses seeking further guidance can review the CDC’s recommendations for businesses.
Businesses seeking further assistance preparing their IT infrastructure can contact us for a no-cost consultation.
How we’re preparing
Most of the clients we serve have already been equipped with remote monitoring and management as well as VPN capabilities. This allows us to remotely troubleshoot issues without the need to be on-site.
In the event that on-site service is necessary, those service requests are evaluated on a risk basis to ensure the highest level of safety for both our technicians and our client’s staff. Based on the risk evaluation, steps will be taken to ensure the highest level of safety for the service call.
Technicians are encouraged to wash their hands after every face-to-face encounter and to additionally wash their hands at least once an hour. These actions help significantly limit the spread of disease.
A record of service calls and visitors is maintained. This allows us to notify our client partners if we become aware of a technician being affected by an infectious disease (or if any of our clients notify us of a possible infection).