Companies in Columbus detail precautions to prevent spread of coronavirus in the workplace

Updated: Mar. 6, 2020 at 12:05 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - With cases of the coronavirus showing up in 13 states across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants employers to take certain precautions to prevent an outbreak in the workplace.

Such precautions include as ensuring sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidelines, not requiring a doctor’s note for employees out with acute respiratory illnesses, and separating sick employees from those who are not sick.

Pam Kirkland, public relations coordinator for the West Central Health District, said companies should consider cross training employees or use temporary workers.

"We hope that there’s cross training going on so in case some people are sick or in a certain department, others can fill up some of those spaces and also use temporary workers, " said Kirkland.

After a temporary Aflac worker in Kobe, Japan was infected with the coronavirus, Aflac said it’s restricting domestic and overseas business trips, limiting face-to-face internal meetings, and more.

Kirkland said the health department applauds employers like Aflac for taking extra measures to keep employees safe. She said technology can be helpful in allowing employees to work from home.

“There’s so many things now that technology can do. You know, conference calls, webcasts, things like that. So, you don’t have to travel and you can work from home,” said Kirkland.

Companies like TSYS and Synovus are also prioritizing their employees health. Kirkland said she hopes other businesses in the area will follow the CDC’s advice.

“We’re hoping that companies in Columbus will take that advice and allow their employees that extra time as well as just being able to stay home and being able to take care of any family members,” said Kirkland.

For the full recommendations for the workplace from the CDC click here. Click here to see full statements from businesses in the Chattahoochee Valley.

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