Fatigue Puts U.S. Businesses at Risk of New COVID Wave, Advises SaferMe
As European COVID deaths rise, it's time for businesses to review their pandemic planning and ensure lockdowns won't be needed or even recommended
AUSTIN, Texas, October 18, 2022 (Newswire.com) - As European countries see an increase in their COVID infections, providing an early indication of what is potentially on its way to the USA, SaferMe, a leading pandemic readiness company, is recommending that local businesses review their pandemic readiness plans in the face of a potential winter surge of the virus.
The European Centre For Disease Prevention and Control has stated that it has begun "seeing indicators rising again in Europe, suggesting that another wave of infections has begun." Pooled COVID data up to the end of week 40, 2022 (the week ending Oct. 13), in Europe showed "widespread increases were being observed in all indicators, with one third of EU/EEA countries reporting increases in COVID-19 deaths."
"What is concerning is that many U.S companies are developing COVID fatigue and are becoming complacent with their planning, despite growing health indicators in Europe. It is just good business continuity protocol to ensure that pandemic plans are always up to date," says Clint Van Marrewijk, CEO and founder of SaferMe. "Companies that rely on outdated historic pandemic plans or adopt a wait-and-see approach are potentially jeopardizing business operations, supply chains, and jobs."
Additionally, America will also be heading into its flu season. "Irrespective of the pandemic type or its magnitude, now is the time for businesses to take the responsible steps to be prepared for all types of pandemic eventualities. Companies that are well prepared can avoid complete lockdowns. We have had some bitter lessons in what not being adequately prepared means. Businesses have a duty of care to look after their employees and all visitors on company premises," adds Van Marrewijk.
To mitigate against the impact of poor pandemic planning, SaferMe recommends that companies develop an integrated response, which can be activated within 48 hours of a virus risk surpassing the company's risk tolerance. The following steps will help companies achieve this:
- Monitoring health developments inside their business as well as up and down their supply chain and the environment in which they are located
- Contacting partners, suppliers and customers to ensure that they have up-to-date pandemic plans
- Avoiding "siloed" pandemic plans that exist in isolation. Instead, incorporate an integrated pandemic plan into the company's business continuity planning
- Pre-approving response systems, such as technology, that can confirm which employees have been in contact with each other (only when needed). This information is derived from second-generation contact tracing, which makes the old-fashioned phone tree systems completely obsolete — these must be removed from all plans
- Develop a virus toolkit that exist in a state of readiness and can be activated at a moment's notice. The toolkits must contain personal protective equipment, a supply of hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizers, an automated contact-tracing system, and company-wide health-check ability.
SaferMe is one of the world's leading pandemic readiness and workforce safety companies, and it advises governments, Fortune 500 businesses, and some of the world's most prominent brands in over 30 countries. It is on a global mission to keep employees healthy and safe while at work to make organizations resilient and pandemic-ready, and keep them open for business. SaferMe has offices in the United States, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia. For more information, www.saferme.com.