Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a Global hot topic and understandably is causing a great deal of concern regarding how to contain the spread of the virus.

At this time, we are aware that Covid-19 was declared a Pandemic by the World Health Organization and the UK Government are meeting today to discuss the next phase of the plan to contain the spread of the virus for as long as possible. We do know that there is likely to be a spike in the number of people who become infected in the UK, however the UK government are looking to delay this as long as possible.

As a responsible Employer, you should be looking at ways to reduce the potential spread whilst best protecting the health and safety of your employees.

It is vital that you communicate with your employees to let them know when it is necessary to self-isolate (be that when they return from travels, when they come into contact with a coronavirus patient or they start to develop symptoms themselves). The list of countries on lockdown is changing continually, so you should stay alert and communicate changes.

Symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • Cough
  • High Temperature (fever)
  • Shortness of breath

The symptoms are similar to cold or flu and are unlikely to be Covid-19 unless you have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have the virus or have been to a country or area which is classed as being high risk in the last 14 days.

Protection

  • Simple hygiene measures like washing your hands with soap and water often, and avoiding people who are unwell, can help stop viruses like coronavirus spreading.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

What can I do as an employer?

It is advisable to make sure that you have items like hand sanitisers and enough anti-bacterial soap in your office facilities. You may want to consider developing a temporary working from home policy for your employees, perhaps look at applying social distancing measures in the workplace and cancelling events/socialising where necessary.

Understandably many clients are concerned about the spread of Coronavirus, and the impact this may have on their business and employees. Goodwille are keeping up to date with the UK government plans, notably the potential for school closures and the cancellation of sporting events. Please do contact us if you need help regarding any of these matters and we will help you with your risk assessment, employee communication and application of appropriate measures.