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COVID-19 Daily Briefing - Tuesday 3/31

Check out their list for restaurants & retail food establishments as you flesh out your re-opening plans.

Today’s Most Important Takeaway

We need to be reinforcing the message that no one works sick — not hourlies, not FOH, not BOH  but especially not managers, KMs, CMs, AKMs, ACMs, Service Managers, Product Coaches, Regional Trainers, Area Managers, JVPS, Market Partners, RVPs, Field Leaders or any of you reading this.   Whether or not you want to believe it, the organization will survive if you take time off when you’re sick. We've heard of multiple managers working sick this past week.

You need to get this message out again ASAP:

No one works sick.  

No one works while awaiting a test result.  

No one works for 14 days after someone they live with tests positive.  

No one will be penalized for calling out sick. In fact, they may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination for working while sick.

The organization will survive without you. Do you want to be the person who gives it to your team?

Today’s Recap:

  • The CDC is considering modifying the recommendation that only sick people, caregivers, and healthcare workers should be wearing masks. Because so many people are spreading the virus before they are symptomatic (and so many never develop symptoms or only minor ones), they may move in the next few weeks to recommending that more people wear face masks - initially it will likely be essential workers. There is not yet an updated recommendation, and supply still needs to be available for healthcare workers.  The scenario of healthcare workers lacking masks but food service personnel donning them isn’t one any of our clients want. Instead, consider alternative face coverings like cloth masks or bandanas (although many of you raised questions about the optics of some of those options).
  • New quarantine rules in TX for folks travelling from out of state.  MD and VA joined the list of states with shelter in place orders.  And RI is stopping all cars with out-of-state plates at the border. In total, three quarters of Americans are under some kind of stay home orders.
  • Oakland County, MI continues to prove very challenging with their own exclusion timelines and stringent travel restrictions.
  • The CDC issued a travel warning for NY, NJ, and CT and urged residents to self-quarantine for 14 days, which does not include food workers, who are considered essential workers.
  • Henry Schein, a very long time vendor / partner of Zero Hour Health,  announced a COVID-19  antibody rapid blood test, to be used at the point of care. It delivers results within 15 minutes from a pinprick with no instrumentation required and tells us whether someone has developed antibodies to COVID-19 (meaning they had it and recovered, or were exposed and developed antibodies and immune).  It is an important breakthrough. They’re planning on shipping several hundred thousand today and start wide scale mass-production within a week. This is huge!
  • And also on the testing front, the FDA scrambled to allow numerous COVID-19 tests. but one of the latest may be a big step forward. Abbot has received emergency use authorization for its toaster-sized ID NOW lab-in-a-box that can provide positive results in as soon as five minutes, and negatives in 13 minutes. It’s one of the few tests that can be used outside of a hospital or lab, such as at a clinic and is already "widely available" in doctors' offices and emergency rooms. If all goes well, we could have both a more accurate picture of the pandemic's scope and a better way to get care to those infected more quickly.

Best questions of the day:

1. We’ve never needed our training teams more than right now,  Is it safe for them to be going between restaurants or facilities?  

This is a difficult question to answer.  Anyone going between restaurants poses the risk of cross infection.  And if the trainer were to become sick, they will have potentially exposed a larger pool of employees.  Seriously consider video training, remote support or limiting personnel who are going between locations to a smaller number of locations than they might have supported before all this started.  But anyone visiting multiple locations brings risk.

2. Is it safe to be traveling for business and staying in hotels?

Travel should be extremely limited at this time - there is very little business travel that is absolutely critically necessary at this time. If possible, delay all travel.

With that said, we worked with two clients today to develop hotel check-in and room sanitizing protocols which include using one’s own pen to check in, carefully handling credit cards, and carrying hydrogen peroxide cleaner and gloves to do a wipe down of the entire room on check in.  Don’t forget the remote!

3. We have a team member who is an asymptomatic caretaker and living with a parent that tested positive for COVID-19.  I know we are to restrict the team member for 14 days, however if another family member is now showing symptoms, would the restriction be extended another 14 days?

Yes. This is a question that didn’t come up before late last week and is now coming up several times a day. The 14-day period is extended every time another close contact/family member becomes sick.

4. We’re getting really mixed information about thermometers and taking employee temperatures.  What’s the latest?

There is a lot going on related to thermometers (and some scamming).  There are some jurisdictions who issued orders requiring employee temperatures but then had to walk back on them.  Colorado is a good example of all that can go awry with it – first they issued the order before realizing that there are 6-8 weeks backlogs on thermometers.  Then, they outlined a temperature cutoff that differed from most other recommendations (the cutoff for what is considered a fever is 100.4 or >). Ohio rescinded theirs within hours of issuing it.  We have many concerns about employee temperature taking – from the availability and accuracy of various thermometers to the lack of PPE for the person taking/recording the temperature.  Finally, we need rock-solid procedures for sanitizing the thermometer (and a back up for when it breaks).  There is a good possibility we may eventually be required to take employee temps – but we’re really not ready for it now.

As for the scamming, several of you received emails from one vendor / salesperson telling you others had ordered thermometers for their organizations which wasn’t wholly accurate.  The email was very misleading.

Best Read of the Day:

It’s Official - Social Distancing Works

And in our very favorite news story of the entire pandemic…

Walmart reports increase sales in tops but not bottoms…

Be careful in your next Zoom meeting.

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