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COVID-19 Daily Briefing - 3.18.20

Florida wellness checks, Ohio temp checks, NY shelter in place imminent....

Executive Summary  COVID-19  Wednesday 3-18-20

 

Today’s Recap 

  • Many more cases and increased testing nationwide, though testing time can vary from under a day to 7 days. 
  • The Senate approved a relief law, though it’s still unclear how much of the $150B stimulus will go to the restaurant and hospitality industries
  • Florida is requiring that employers complete daily symptoms checks before allowing employees to work. Zero Hour Health is piloting an online symptom survey with one client and Coronavirus Hotline as an added feature. 
  • Ohio’s governor is calling for daily employee temperature checks. The massive shortage of available thermometers makes this a major operational challenge, and it’s still unclear how Ohio will enforce this.     
  • New York continues to prepare for a shelter-in-place order, similar to those in Northern California.
  • Many of our restaurant clients are coming up with creative solutions, including new or increased takeout and delivery, selling bulk foods, and spotlighting family meal specials. 

 Your best questions of the day:

 

  1. How can we know if a COVID-19 diagnosis is real if we don’t have confirmation from the Health Department?

Most health departments aren’t providing written confirmation, and are going to be increasingly behind on reaching out to confirmed positives with follow-up info. Asking a few good questions of employees who claim they’re sick (what are your symptoms, when did they start, when/where did you get tested, and when did you get the results?) are our best tool to “verify” positive results. And at this point, lots of people have been exposed. 

 

  1. How should I check symptoms or temperatures daily?  

We are really opposed to taking employee temps for many reasons - from ADA to there just aren’t enough thermometers or temp strips available.  But add to that - up to 40% of  COVID-19 patients don’t have a fever (20% have no symptoms, 20% have no fever).  However, it seems (based on a tweet) that you’ll be taking temps in OH immediately for all employees (if you can find thermometers or temp strips - good luck with that.  None on Amazon).

There’s a paper COVID-19 symptoms survey in the app. If you need access or have questions about the survey, let us know. 

Zero Hour Health is also piloting new online surveys and our own Coronavirus Team to make the process easier for employers, at an additional moderate cost (covering our additional IT and staffing costs). 

 

  1. Do I still have to keep employees out for 14 days if they test positive, but they don’t have symptoms? 

Right now, the CDC recommendations still require 14 days, but we’re hearing that they might lower those to 72 hours symptom and fever-free. Stay tuned for an update as soon as we hear more. We worked with our CDC contacts all day and didn’t get a definitive written answer. 

 

 

Our best read of the day:  Many of you have been challenged by Hep A over the last two years.  The silver lining of all of this is that it prepared us for COVID-19: San Diego Officials Responding to Coronavirus Say They've Learned from Bungled Hep A Crisis

 

 

Today’s celebrity birthday, so that you have someone to sing to as you wash your hands: Mike Rowe, host of TV’s “Dirty Jobs.” While we’re all going through challenging times during COVID-19, it might help give some perspective if you re-watch particularly...fun...episodes of “Dirty Jobs,” like  “Worm Dung Farmer” or “Sewer Diver.”


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