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COVID-19 Daily Briefing - 3.17.20

Every day during this outbreak, Zero Hour Health has been updating our clients' executive teams. For the duration of this difficult time, we will be distributing this same update to all of our Zedic users to keep everyone fully informed and prepared for what's to come.

Today’s Developments:

States and municipalities issued executive orders limiting occupancy or more often, closing dining rooms across the country. Keeping track of what states have what restrictions remains challenging and wasn’t resolved when VP and Pres spoke as we’d anticipated. Here’s one resource for info (thanks to John Logan from Marsh for forwarding this).

Unfortunately, it’s outdated already. Maryland joined the list of allowing only take-out and delivery and San Francisco issued their Shelter in Place (which allows takeout and delivery). Santa Clara has occupancy restrictions.  McHenry County did their own thing and Montgomery PA is just perplexing. Four counties in Colorado near Aspen have self-quarantine recommendations for the entire counties.

The CDC recommendations today included working from home when possible, no gatherings more than ten people, closing of gyms, salons and more for fifteen days and that restaurants limit service to curbside or delivery only.  

Again today, you had many false reports of + COVID diagnosis.  Our favorite, a fake lab report from CDPHE in Colorado.  The one with the most potentially negative impact:  a server who took a phone call, purportedly from her doctor who announced to her co-workers she’d just be diagnosed and ran out of the restaurant.  After a ZHH  nurse chased her down electronically, she claimed to be in her doctor’s office.  Our text:  Great, you’re in the right place to get a cell phone pic of the lab report. “  After ten minutes of radio silence, the server’s next text:  “False Alarm.”

There were quite a lot positive lab tests received today.  And concern about how long some tests are taking  Two employees tested yesterday were told results may take up to a week. Another was tested last Thursday and still awaiting results

The CDC’s latest guidance today is that an employee diagnosed with COVID-19 can return to work once symptom-free  for three day (that means no  fever or meds like Tylenol).  This is still roughly 10-14 days from onset of illness since it’s lasting 5-7 days.  We are waiting to see this confirmed in writing before we change our protocols.  It doesn’t change the 14 day exclusion for exposure to  a family member / intimate contact who is positive, being tested or on returning from Europe, China, Iran, Italy or a cruise.  We expect that travel list to grow.

And in the most significant development of the last 24 hours, we are consistently seeing  health departments not require quarantine of co-workers when an employee tests positive.

Finally, showing how quickly this has spread, we relatively easy reached  health departments all day yesterday.  We even spoke with the NYC DOH twice at 10:00 last night but today their phones were jammed and getting through nearly impossible.

Your best questions today:

How do we address employees feeling we’ve paid more attention to guests’ health than theirs?

Good question and one that came up early this morning and then again all day long.  It’s really the same message you’ve all been delivering already that just needs a tiny bit of tweaking.  Wash your hands, don’t work sick, stay away from others as best you can and you’ll be as protected as possible at this time.

I’ve heard that we’ve all already been exposed.  Is that true?

Hard for us to answer, but probably.  There was one report early this morning that said all New Yorkers in particular have probably been exposed.  And reports that 500,000 or more have already had this.

Are you seeing a flu spike?

We think so.  Won’t see the weekly flu data for this week until Friday but it sure seems like it.  It may be that they’re doing more flu tests.  It may be that we’re seeing flu and COVID-19 simultaneously.  But we are seeing people leave doctor’s offices with Tamiflu for + rapid flu tests.

Some of you asked us to address the transition to all to-go.  So here‘s what we have for you - A few best practices for Curbside and  Delivery

  • Consider a shortened menu - easier to prep, package and keep out of the danger zone.
  • If you don’t already do this, implement a simple a daily wellness check for staff - how you're feeling, do you have a cough, shortness of breath, fever or other symptoms? (let us know if you need a sample).
  • Keep an eye on food awaiting pick-up.  Guests could  be delayed or drivers overwhelmed with delivery.
  • Use tamper-proof packaging – that’s what customers want to see.
  • Your curbside runners should be gloved – again it makes customers more comfortable.
  • Consider adding more outside signage and lighting for pick up.
  • Don’t forget we still have risks of Noro and Hep A; be alert and remind your team.  Had one of each of them over the weekend. The same precautions prevent them: handwashing and not working sick.

Best read of the day:  What does Coronavirus Social Distancing Really Mean (we find ourselves sharing articles from the Atlantic frequently during this outbreak).

And the quote of the day:  “After 30 minutes of home schooling, when this is over we should give every teacher a $1M raise.”  

Please share your challenges and best practices for this difficult transition to all curbside and delivery! We’ll post them for discussion.

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