Recently the CDC updated their guidance for businesses about the coronavirus COVID-19.
Here's a link to the guidance:
Beyond the items mentioned in the CDC guidance, we wanted to suggest a few other steps that you should consider.
Preparation Tips for a Possible Pandemic
- If your staff is having any in-person meetings with people who have recently traveled to areas with active infections (China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, etc.), consider switching these to virtual meetings if possible.
- Please review your business continuity plan, and make any updates that are needed.
- Now is a good time to review the list of people who have the ability to work remotely. If your office needs to be closed for 2+ weeks, make sure that everyone who needs remote access has it.
- If your staff occasionally works remotely, have them test their remote connectivity sometime in the next few days.
- We'd recommend having a discussion with your staff now to make sure that your plans are complete. The scenario you should be planning for is a 2+ week closure of the office, which hopefully is a worst case scenario.
- Make sure that your contact list of cell phone numbers and home phone numbers is up to date in case you're unable to reach people via email and need to urgently communicate something.
- Make sure that any web conferencing tools that you use have a subscription large enough to handle your whole team, if needed.
- Consider whether to stock up on soap, hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks (which are already in short supply).
- If your employees don't have laptops but may be expected to work from home, now is the time to consider getting them company-issued laptops or some kind of virtual machine-based/VDI remote access. Be careful not to compromise security by letting employees use personal computers that bypass all of your cybersecurity measures.
- With supply lines with China disrupted, we're already starting to see shortages on technology items. If you're planning any critical technology purchases in 2020, consider expediting them.
- As with any world news, there are already coronavirus phishing messages making the rounds. Remind your staff to be extra careful about clicking on links or opening attachments in emails about coronavirus (even if they appear to come from inside the company).
We share these tips to help you be informed and to highlight possible business disruptions that you should consider. Since the CDC is publishing guidance, we think it's smart to pay attention and plan accordingly.
There is a lot of (mis)information about coronavirus circulating, so we suggest following the CDC's site for further updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/
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