Breaking the Chain Reaction: The Importance of Insight into Employee Health
As COVD-19 the United States loosens the reopening guidelines, we've seen a spike in cases within certain pockets of the country and the news is dominated by stories of devastating outbreaks. We've read about bars, restaurants and salons that, while trying to get back onto their feet and save their business, triggered a series of infections amongst employees and customers. We find ourselves asking, again and again...how did the virus spread so widely and efficiently?
Let's walk through a potential scenario: You, a small business, hit hard by the impact of COVID-19 closures, move to reopen your cafe as state regulations allow you to. You take all of the necessary sanitary precautions— six feet distance markers, take out and delivery options, plastic counter shields, etc. —and reopen to your customers on a Monday. The first day of business goes well; customers show up in masks, food sells out and everything seems good. Tuesday comes and goes, all according to plan. You make it through the week and, you're feeling pretty good. What could go wrong, now that you are back in your groove, right?
Friday night, as you're cleaning up for the night, you and your staff are discussing your weekend plans. One person is going out to dinner, another is attending a family birthday party, a third is driving out to the beach. They earned their down time, didn't they?
A week or two go by and business is as usual. One day you get a call from a previous customer, complaining about being infected with COVID-19. Another one calls. Then another. Before you know it, there's been an outbreak and it clearly started inside your business.
This is the point where we get to the infamous question: how did the virus spread? Did your staff catch it out at dinner? Did one contract it from one of their family members? Did it spread to your employee at the beach? At this point, it's impossible to know. Your entire staff needs to be tested, you need to inform customers, its all a mess.
Is there anyway to prevent this type of unintentional mishap from setting your business back even further in these already trying times? This is where we see a benefit in employee health monitoring, the topic of this post originally.
Yes, there is no perfect way to handle reopening and the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks will continue to be a looming fear. This is just the reality. However, as a small business owner, it is possible to maintain a safe work environment by implementing daily self-screening health checks for your employees. By gathering basic data from each employee — their temperature, how they are feeling, whether they've been exposed to anyone who has gotten sick, etc. — you stand a better chance of identifying cases, even an asymptomatic one that probably caused the type of outbreak in the aforementioned scenario. The data gathered can also be leveraged to minimize the spread of the virus by implementing a variety of measures such as staggered work shifts or targeted work from home policies.
Unsure where to start? Cambridge Blockchain's new Trproduct: Monitor, a software that allows employers to proactively protect the health and safety of its employees. Monitor is the workforce safety product within the Tracelinks product portfolio, which offers employee check-in/out, symptom screening and temperature reporting. The product allows for smaller scale workforce health tracking, at the company level, and helps employers resume operations in the “new normal.”
By keeping an open channel of communication, particularly around health, during this time is crucial to getting back to work as efficiently and safely as possible — the ultimate goal!