In the wake of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement claiming that there is an overabundance of information—making it hard "for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.” In this post we have compiled essential information regarding economic impact, social impact, best practices for businesses, and real-time updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The spread of Coronavirus or, as the disease is formally known, COVID-19 is disrupting supply chains, effecting product sales, suspending travel, impacting the stock markets, and intensifying fears of a global recession.
According to the U.S. Chamber, "Industrial sectors will be impacted in waves, for example certain transportation sectors like aviation and certain trade-dependent industries are already being impacted. Today, it’s too early to determine the long-term impact on supply chains, manufacturing, and the American economy. Given the importance of consumer spending to the American economy, much will depend on the confidence of the American public."
Investors and businesses are preparing for the worst, with some even changing their projected annual earnings for the year. At this point in time, it is still unclear what the overall impact on the U.S. economy will be, but it is clear that the impact will be significant.
President Trump is expected today to announce a substantial economic stimulus package, specifically to approve a payroll tax cut and assistance for hourly workers so that they can be in a position to never miss a paycheck and protect small businesses.
Major events have already been canceled or closed including South By Southwest, Adobe Summit, ASEAN Summit, and Google News Initiative Summit. According to ABC News "multiple U.S. based universities have had students return home from study abroad programs in Italy after the CDC moved Italy from Alert Level 2 to Warning Level 3."
At this time the CDC recommends that schools in high-risk areas consider the following steps: Temporarily cancel extracurricular group activities and large events; cancel or postpone events such as after-school assemblies and pep rallies, field trips, and sporting events; discourage students and staff from gathering or socializing anywhere; discourage gatherings at places like a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant, or the local shopping mall; Ensure continuity of education.
Grocery stores are working to prevent stockpiling panic by limiting purchase quantities of items like bleach, rubbing alcohol, face masks, paper hygiene products, bottled water, shelf stable and frozen foods. The Food Industry Association published information to help retailers prepare for changes to shopping habits.
Offices, schools, healthcare buildings, and more are advised to have plans in place, such as sanitation schedules and potential work from home strategies. Since there's a lot still unknown, businesses are looking to maintenance companies like Evercor to help develop sanitation initiatives.
"We're working with the ISSA and the CDC to stay on top of the latest information,” said Kyle Emerick, Evercor Operations Manager. "We want to make sure we have the most educated and qualified janitorial teams out there for our clients."
According to Evercor Safety and Training Manager, Deborah Walker, there's still much to learn. "This strain of Coronavirus is so new and information surrounding it is ever-changing," said Walker. "We're doing all we can to remain as up-to-date as possible, and adapt quickly when new reports come in."