Coronavirus: What employers need to know

The emergence of a new virus in China has sparked caution around the world. As employers, it’s important to be informed in order to protect employees without creating an unnecessary feeling of panic within the workplace.

If you’re an employer, here’s what you need to know to make smart decisions, courtesy Dayton/Montgomery County Public Health:

Microscopic view of Coronavirus, a pathogen that attacks the respiratory tract.

  • As of February 4, 2020, the risk of Coronavirus transmission in the United States is LOW.
  • The Coronavirus spreads via close contact with people who are sick. Symptoms may show up 2-14 days later.
  • There is no vaccine.
  • If you have an employee who has recently traveled to China, the date of travel will determine your response.
    • If the returning traveler arrived in the United States from anywhere in China, including Hubei Province, BEFORE February 3, they are advised to self-monitor for fever and respiratory illness. Travelers who develop symptoms within 14 days of arriving in the United States should avoid contact with others and call their health care provider. Be sure to mention symptoms and recent travel history. Call ahead before visiting any health care facility.
    • If the returning traveler was in Hubei Province and arrived in the United States ON or AFTER February 3, they will be required to maintain a 14 day quarantine period near a United States airport of entry. Travelers from all other areas of China who arrived during this time period are asked to self-monitor in their homes for fever and respiratory illness for 14 days after arrival in the United States.
  • It’s important to note that as always, everyone, including employers, should never discriminate or exclude based on race or country of origin. This guidance is based solely on a person’s travel history.

Keep in mind, the flu virus has proved to be much more dangerous so far this season in the United States. The good news is, prevention is the same for both. Remind employees to stay home when they feel sick, to make sure they’re thoroughly washing their hands throughout the day and not to touch their faces.

To help you communicate the latest with your employees, chamber member Dayton/Montgomery County Public Health has provided this Coronavirus at-a-glance sheet. Download the flyer and post around the workplace to keep employees informed.