The effects of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel corona virus, have already impacted the economic health of our communities. We are all now seeing businesses affected by fears about contracting the virus. Health officials are the best sources of information about how to prevent the spread of the virus.
Resources for Business
The following links to information will help your local economy, and that of the region, manage and recover from these impacts as quickly as possible. The guidelines are not county-specific and provide a lot of information, including checklists, templates, and plans. We encourage you to share them with businesses and business organizations in your area.
COVID-19 Information for Businesses & Employers (Snohomish County)
COVID-19: Information for Businesses (Pierce County)
Pandemic Flu Planning Guidelines for Businesses (King County)
Guidelines for Business Continuity During Pandemic Flu (King County)
Resource List for Businesses and Workers Impacted by COVID-19 (State of Washington)
King County Actions
King County government is not requiring or mandating these steps, but they are taking them for County employees and recommending other employers consider them:
- Allow all employees to work from home unless there is a reason to be in the workplace
- Maximize telecommuting options
- Employers should be as flexible as possible with sick leave
- Consider staggering start and end times to reduce the number of people commuting at the same time
- Consider cancelling or postponing all non-essential, in-person, large meetings and gatherings through the end of March
- People with fever or cough should stay home for 72 hours after their symptoms end
Public health officials recommend that community organizations avoid holding events of more than 10 people. There is no recommendation to close schools at this time.
If you have a fever and cough, do not go to the emergency room. Contact your primary care provider. They have criteria to determine who needs to be tested for the virus and are prioritizing those with symptoms who are most at risk.
In addition to the best practices included in these links, local governments and organizations are also taking these steps:
Actions Being Taken at Sea-Tac Airport and Airline Partners (Port of Seattle)
Guidance for travelers to the region (Visit Seattle)
Extra Precautions Being Taken by Local Businesses
You may want to consider some of these steps that other local businesses have taken:
- Provide regular updates to your stakeholders, partners, and employees via e-mail or phone.
- Cancel non-essential travel, events, or meetings.
- Hold virtual meetings via phone or online.
- Limit the number of attendees at in-person meetings.
- Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces, such as railings and door handles, several times per day.
- Place hand sanitizer at all entrances and reception desks.
- Replace the traditional handshake greeting with an elbow bump, friendly wave of the hand, or thumbs up.
- Allow employees to work from home if they have symptoms or are fearful of contracting COVID-19. Provide clear work-from-home guidelines.
- Encourage people to manage their fear or stress by working with their Employee Assistance program.
- Restrict access to facilities where essential personnel work to keep them healthy.
Documenting the Impacts
Work with your local emergency management agency to record how businesses are impacted in your community in case funding is available to help in economic recovery.
Consider the local effects of:
1. Disruption in the supply chain (which industry, business, which part of supply chain)
2. Travel restrictions (see COVID-19 cases by country via World Health Organization)
3. Increased remote work
4. Reduction in retail and wholesale demand (including dining establishments)
5. Tourism declines (hotel vacancies, flight cancellations, event cancellations)