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COVID-19 Daily Briefing - Friday, May 29th

As things being to reopen and updates slow down, we want to make sure that we're only sharing the most important and urgent information so that you can use it best. This will be the last day that we send these summaries out daily. Starting in June, we'll move to twice a week, barring any major developments, and we’ll be sure to use the Zedic app to share any alerts that happen in-between briefings.


Note: As things being to reopen and updates slow down, we want to make sure that we're only sharing the most important and urgent information so that you can use it best. This will be the last day that we send these summaries out daily. Starting in June, we'll move to twice a week breifings, barring any major developments, and we’ll be sure to use the Zedic app to share any alerts that happen in-between briefings.

Today’s Recap:

  • It seems like many employees partied over Memorial Day weekend and we’re seeing a surge in COVID illness yesterday and today (wth more to come).

Case counts are increasing in: CA, VA, NC, MN, AL, MS, SC, AR, PR, ID, ME, WV, VT, AK Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count

  • One in five Americans know someone who was hospitalized or died due to COVID-19, according to a Pew study





  • Brazil was added to the prohibited traveler’s list, after they reported three straight days of over 1000 deaths per day and over 25k new cases daily. Brazil now reports the second-most cases globally after the U.S


  • Yesterday, West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI) and WVU Medicine said they've developed a digital platform that utilizes a sleep-tracking device and software to detect COVID-like symptoms up to three days in advance with over 90% accuracy.  


  • It looks like there was limited early spread of COVID in the U.S. in January and February, indicating that there was sustained community transmission before it was detected, likely from one case from China and two from Europe. 



Best Questions of the Day:


We keep hearing about employees partying together outside of work and then someone who attended is now sick.  What are your thoughts on how to handle these and how to discourage employees from taking these kinds of risks?

This has clearly been the question of the last 24 hours.  Many of you have had employees attend social events, go to bars together, share bottles/ bongs/ cigarettes/ joints, etc. We need to give clear messaging to employees - it isn’t party time. 

Employees are, understandably,  getting mixed messages from each other, the media and  their elected officials about where we stand with COVID.  The states that opened earliest and with the least restrictions are seeing surging case counts (see item 1 in recap). It’s important to be clear with employees that their actions outside of work affect their ability to work. And that you may choose to withhold COVID pay for risks taken outside of work. And also, that no one should be commuting together, especially, unmasked, if it can be avoided. 


Our office has a team that delivers gifts for birthdays, anniversary, new hires, etc.  Should we discontinue delivering gifts?

While there’s very little evidence that COVID spreads on surfaces like that of a card or box, delivering gifts mean increased face-to-face contact between your employees, and it just isn’t necessary. You should be limiting any and all in-person interaction as much as possible to model great social distancing for your employees. Gifts to boost morale are a great idea, but consider sending a virtual gift card for the time being.   


If we have to close one of our locations due to a local DOH or an internal decision after a COVID positive case, can we move product from that store to another nearby? 

This is relatively low-risk. COVID doesn’t spread very easily on surfaces and isn’t foodborne, so it should be relatively safe to transfer to another store.  The bigger issue is the people packing it up and delivering it to the new store - make sure that they’re monitoring for symptoms and haven’t been exposed to any of the sick folks that meant the store was shut down in the first place.

Should we stop using an outside cleaning service?

Keeping your facilities sparkling clean is paramount and if you’re using an outside cleaning service who knows your physical space and cleans it well, there’s no reason to change.  We do suggest that you insure they are using an EPA approved COVID sanitizing product as part of their routine cleaning and disnfecting. 

Best Read of the Day:  

This is a really interesting look at who is getting sick now in areas that were hardest hit. Although NY is on the mend, the sheer numbers of people still getting sick is an opportunity to learn how to manage on-going COVID - especially since we now understand it’s going to be around for a while.

10 weeks into New York area's lockdown, who is still getting sick? 


Best Laugh of the Day:  Well, they kind of spelled raccoon wrong  but it still made us laugh. 




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