We’re about seven months in — depending on when you consider to be the official beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — and there’s still a lot we don’t know about this virus. Cases are declining in some parts of the world, while in others, they continue to rise. This ebb and flow makes it very difficult to make decisions about anything including when and how to safely bring employees back to the work site.
Experts are looking to history to predict the future of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), both the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and the 2009 H1N1 flu epidemic started with mild waves of infections in the spring, followed by another surge of cases in the fall. This is especially worrisome because of the impending flu season, which typically begins toward the end of each year and often picks up steam over the winter and spring months. Experts fear overlapping symptoms between the flu and COVID-19 may complicate and slow diagnosis which could lead to more negative outcomes.
Occ health specialists have found themselves at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. As businesses strategize ways to resume regular, or semi-regular operations, occ health leaders are making important decisions about how to keep employees safe. Eli Lilly and Company, for example, is in the process of opening a separate clinic site on their U.S. headquarters campus to accommodate COVID-19, flu and other communicable diseases. Their goal is to reduce comingling of possibly infected employees from non-infected employees who need to visit the main clinic site for routine health surveillance exams and worksite injuries.
This is just one example of innovative adjustments our clients’ onsite health clinics are making to prepare for a possible surge of COVID-19 cases in the fall. If you would like to hear about Lilly’s plans and what other innovative employers are doing to manage workplace health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, join us for a webinar on Thursday, September 17 at noon (EDT). Presented in partnership with Business Research & Intelligence (BRI) Network, this webinar will feature several innovative employers including Dr. Charles Williams, senior director, corporate health services at Eli Lilly and Company.
Joining Dr. Williams will be Scott Tucker, co-president of Maple Leaf Farms — the largest duck producer in the U.S. and Letitia Heshmat, director, employee and occupational health at Mobile-Med. Scott will share measures his organization has put in place to address health for essential employees in the food processing industry, and Letitia will explain how her organization has rapidly established a scalable model to support employer organizations in the state of California — including helping several state agencies manage COVID-19 employee monitoring and testing.
This webinar will be a great opportunity to gain some solid footing as you prepare for how to respond to the next set of COVID-19 waves. Be sure to register today.