Coronavirus Resources

Updated 12:30 p.m. (CT) June 1, 2020

There are now 6,057,853 reported cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, worldwide according to the World Health Organization. 1,761,503 total cases were reported in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control. The National Safety Education Center is following this situation to provide up-to-date, helpful information for our members, our instructors, and the public.

Reopening Your Business

Businesses must consider worker safety and economic realities as they decide when and how to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. According to an NPR interview with two economists, Teresa Ghilarducci and James Broughel, workers in the United States have filed over 30 million jobless claims in the last six weeks. As employers struggle with strategic business decisions, they must weigh the benefits and risks of reopening.

How can business owners know when to reopen? Economist Ghilarducci says, “Among professional economists, the majority opinion is to follow the epidemiologists. All of our models about when it would make sense to restart the economy gradually are following the epidemiologists' curves about when it could be flattened. And that's because we know going back to work too early and in the wrong places could cause a second wave and could cause costs to workers, the productive part of the economy. ” Read NPR’s interview about balancing public safety and reopening economies here and learn more about factors that affect reopening your business.

Preparing the Workplace for COVID-19

As businesses prepare to reopen, each business should develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan in case an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs. According to OSHA’s document Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, this plan should include the following information:

  • Where, how, and to what sources of SARS-CoV-2 might workers be exposed, including: 
    • The general public, customers, and coworkers
    • Sick individuals or those at particularly high risk of infection (e.g., international travelers who have visited locations with widespread sustained (ongoing) COVID-19 transmission, healthcare workers who have had unprotected exposures to people known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19). 
  • Non-occupational risk factors at home and in community settings.
  • Workers’ individual risk factors (e.g., older age; presence of chronic medical conditions, including immunocompromising conditions; pregnancy). 
  • Controls necessary to address those risks.

Follow federal and state, local, tribal, and/or territorial (SLTT) recommendations regarding development of contingency plans for situations that may arise as a result of outbreaks, such as: 

  •  Increased rates of worker absenteeism. 
  • The need for social distancing, staggered work shifts, downsizing operations, delivering services remotely, and other exposure-reducing measures. 
  • Options for conducting essential operations with a reduced workforce, including cross-training workers across different jobs in order to continue operations or deliver surge services.
  • Interrupted supply chains or delayed deliveries. 

Plans should also consider and address the other steps that employers can take to reduce the risk of worker exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in their workplace. Read more here.

The CDC Recommends the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

According to the Center for Disease Control website the CDC now recommends that individuals wear cloth face masks in public places such as grocery stores and pharmacies where social distancing is difficult.  For instructions on how to make several types of cloth face coverings, visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Tested Materials for DIY Masks

According to an article in the New York Times, some materials are better than others for DIY masks. Experts tested different materials to determine effectiveness, and the results were summarized in the article What’s the Best Material for a Mask? by Tara Parker-Pope. The National Safety Education Center has created an infographic based on this information. Read the article: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-DIY-face-mask-ppe.html

Practical Guides for Employers: COVID-19 and the Workplace

  • OSHA Recordkeeping for COVID-19 - News Release: U.S. Department of Labor Issues Enforcement Guidance For Recording Cases of COVID-19
  • Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 - U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s detailed guide for safe work practices
  • OSHA COVID-19 Webpage - U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s webpage containing detailed information about COVID-19, healthcare respiratory protection, hazard recognition, OSHA standards, and more
  • Coronavirus Guidance for Business and Employers - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s webpage about how to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19 in your business
  • Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidance - United States Department of Homeland Security’s advisory webpage about how to identify essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 response
  • Paid Sick Leave - The U.S. Department of Labor’s webpage explaining the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Expanded Family and Medical Leave Requirements
  • When and How to Use Masks - World Health Organization’s guide to understanding when and how you should wear a mask

State-Specific Resources

The federal government is providing general guidance for the COVID-19 response. States and municipalities are adding their own responses based on local needs. To find out your state’s additional responses, visit these sites:

  • State Resources and Restrictions- The Council of State Governments’ COVID-19 site shows state resources, curfews, school closures, crowd size limits, and more
  • Steps States have Taken to Address Coronavirus- The National Governers Association’s webpage with info about state emergency/public health emergency declarations, restricted travel/travel bans, limits on gatherings, closure of non-essential businesses, state/territorial resource pages, and more
  • State Legislative Action on Coronavirus- The National Conference of State Legislatures shows how state legislation is responding to COVID-19

Coronavirus Webinars

Learn more about the coronavirus with these free webinars:

Recorded March 2020- Answering 20 Questions about COVID-19

Center for Disease Control and Prevention recorded this free webinar to answer 20 common questions about COVID-19. This webinar gives a foundation of general information about what COVID-19 is and what people should do about it. Be prepared to answer your employees’ questions.  Watch Here

Recorded 03/31/2020- Osterholm Update: COVID-19 Episode 2: The Global Coronavirus Response

University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy recorded this free webinar to discuss the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US and elsewhere, the US national response, the “war zone” situation in overstretched hospitals, and the leadership of the WHO thus far. Watch Here

Recorded 03/24/2020- Osterholm Update: COVID-19 Episode 1: How We Got Here

University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy recorded this free webinar to discuss how we got here and what to expect in the weeks and months to come. We also discuss potential immunity after infection with the coronavirus, testing shortages, and finally, how we can support each other and be good neighbors in this new world. Watch Here

Health Resources

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Stay safe from COVID-19, and save all travel expenses be registering for our interactive video conference courses today! This is a rare opportunity to advantage of OSHA Courses from the comfort of your home!

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Previous Webinars

Tactical Solutions for Workplace Safety During the CoronaVirus Pandemic

Coronavirus Workplace Safety: Exposure Prevention, Recordkeeping and Respirators

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