COVID-19 Daily Summary – March 19, 2020: Prepare for Remote Work

Author(s): Carmi Levy

Remote Work and Re-Deployment Toolkit

Our analysts have been busy producing a full range of research focused specifically on COVID-19, and today we’ll zero in on some of the prescriptive resources you’ll want to download immediately to kick-start your pandemic response. They include:

Staff Re-Deployment and Layoff Policy. In this period of economic uncertainty, organizations may not be able to function normally, and in some cases they may need to make changes to their staffing models, up to and including re-deployments and layoffs. Use this template to guide you through the process of planning and implementing these changes in a fair, ethical, and effective manner.

Emergency Remote Work Policy. This template covers the five key areas associated with moving employee workloads to remote locations: high-level responsibilities, network, hardware and software, information security, and communication channels. Fill in the details with your stakeholders to build a comprehensive policy that maximizes engagement and productivity for as long as your people are away from their normal work locations.

Emergency Remote Work Plan Checklists. Have you taken all the necessary steps to support remote work during this period of crisis management and business disruption? Use this tool to track your activities – and have the confidence that you’re not missing a thing. Use the embedded Preparedness Assessment to determine your current state and proactively address any gaps.

These are just some of the many pieces of new and updated research that we’re adding daily to our COVID-19 Resource Center. Check back regularly for the latest pandemic-focused research.

Talk to an analyst

As you begin to move forward with your COVID-19 response, our analysts are available 24/7 to answer your questions, share best practices, and help you build your plan. Connect with us now to book your call and start the conversation.

Today’s theme: Opportunity in crisis

In the Chinese language, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity. – John F. Kennedy

Recent milestones

  • Canada-US border closed. By mutual agreement, the world’s longest undefended border is shut down to nonessential traffic. Canadians and Americans who cross the border to perform essential travel or for other “urgent reasons” will still be allowed to do so. Trucking and other commercial traffic is similarly unaffected by the ban.
  • US Senate approves coronavirus relief bill. The major economic stimulus package, which was approved by the House last week, now goes to President Trump for signing. The package includes enhanced unemployment benefits, paid leave, free coronavirus testing, and food and healthcare aid. The administration also asks Congress for up to $1 trillion, including $500 billion in direct payments to taxpayers, $300 billion to help small businesses meet payroll, $50 billion for the airline industry, and $150 billion for other industries.
  • Automotive sector pulls back. Honda becomes the first carmaker to shutter North American manufacturing facilities – confirming an immediate six-day shutdown. General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles soon follow suit, idling some 150,000 additional workers until at least the end of the month. North American production facilities belonging to Volkswagen Group and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler continue to operate.
  • New, faster test announced. Scientists at Oxford University say they’ve developed a significantly faster coronavirus testing technology. The new test can give results in 30 minutes, 75% faster than traditional tests that can take two hours or more. They are now working on developing an integrated test kit to be used at clinics, airports, and home.
  • Key takeaway: As the economy hits the brakes, governments are ramping up economic aid packages to soften the blow and try to prevent markets from sliding into recession. Watch for news on possible aid for your industry and/or employees and set aside resources to determine whether you or your people are eligible.

Virus 101: Clinical manifestations of COVID-19

  • COVID-19 is a respiratory disease with symptoms and outcomes similar to those of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Pneumonia is the most frequent manifestation, with symptoms that include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The outcomes of disease progression can include hospitalization, supportive ventilation, and death.
  • However, COVID-19 also differs, notably, in the following ways:
    • The vast majority of cases are considered “mild” and not severe.
    • Patients more senior in age and/or with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk to progress to severe and fatal outcomes.
    • Though there have been some reported cases of mortality in children, the dynamics of the disease in children are curious in that it is uncommon for children to exhibit severe symptoms and outcomes.
  • Bottom line: If you start exhibiting any of these symptoms, seek medical attention and read guidelines from your local public health unit as well as the WHO and CDC. These guidelines will continuously be updated as the world learns more about COVID-19 and its epidemiology and pathology.

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