This article discusses the rise of Coronavirus, or COVID-19, since the first outbreak in Wuhan, China, in late2019, and how it compares with cases of flu in the US this season which may lead to an estimated 15,000 to 36,000 deaths.

It advises employers to take steps now to plan ahead, so business is impacted as little as possible and employees are kept safe.

Advice includes:

  • instituting a ban on all business travel to China;
  • considering the negative impact on employee morale by forcing someone to travel;
  • designating a senior official to check the CDC website daily for latest advice;
  • imposing incubation periods on staff who have visited coronavirus “hotspots”;
  • developing contingency plans based upon industry sector;
  • communicating with employees about seasonal flu prevention strategies, as flu poses a greater and more immediate threat than the coronavirus;
  • developing an internal communication plan in case a major pandemic breaks out;
  • not panicking or overreacting, while still planning for worst case scenarios;
  • taking legal advice around employment law.

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