Coronavirus Response for Businesses and Event Planners
Monday, March 16, 2020
According to West Virginia DHHR, there are still no confirmed coronavirus cases in West Virginia.
At a press conference this afternoon, Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for West Virginia and all 55 West Virginia counties. Barring additional orders from the governor, a state of emergency does not impose any mandatory restrictions on private businesses or on county or city governments.
However, in the words of the governor, “let’s err to the safe side.” The City of Elkins suggests that area residents and business owners consider some of the ideas in the following list.
These are not orders in Elkins or West Virginia, but some of these steps have been ordered in states and cities across the country. Because of the possibility that such orders may be issued in West Virginia at some point, it may be helpful for everyone to give some thought to how they might be able to comply, and to consider whether it might make sense to take some of these steps now, voluntarily.
Please continue monitoring this channel and the news media for updates. This is a fluid situation and may change quickly.
- The CDC recommends canceling or postponing gatherings of 50 or more people, including church services, sporting events, social occasions, etc. Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.
- Businesses can limit entrance to their stores to minimize the number of people present at any one time.
- Businesses with drive-through facilities can close their dining rooms and lobbies to the public, limiting customer service to drive-through only.
- Restaurants can restrict service to carry-out only (some at curbside).
- Businesses can follow the lead of all federal and state government agencies by eliminating non-essential travel.
- Businesses can implement flexible remote work policies and, where this is not possible, reduce staffing levels present at any one time. (Keep in mind that many parents now have no childcare options other than remaining at home themselves.)
- Businesses can institute temporary exceptions to current sick-leave policies. (If an employee tests positive for coronavirus, the current medical recommendation will be for the person to remain quarantined at home for two weeks—if they are not hospitalized.)
Thank you for considering these ideas. For more information about workplace, community, and home preparedness for coronavirus, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and coronavirus.wv.gov.
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