'Don't panic' workers about coronavirus, employment attorney says

As global cases of coronavirus continue to climb, corporate benefit and health experts are telling employers to provide essential information to workers, but not to spread alarm about the virus that causes COVID-19, reports Kaiser Health News.

COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus from China, had sickened 82,549 and resulted in 2,810 deaths worldwide as of 10 a.m. Feb. 27. There were 60 total COVID-19 cases in the U.S., as of Feb. 26.

Kaiser Health News reports that some employers are taking steps amid the spread of the viral illness, such as canceling conferences and limiting travel, as well as checking supplies. But corporate benefit and health experts warned against drastic measures.

"Scaring the crap out of employees isn't helpful," labor and employment attorney Mark Neuberger in Miami told Kaiser Health News. 

"Employee communication is critical. Stay in touch and up to date" with the most recent CDC information and "don't panic" employees, he said.

Mr. Neuberger and other experts said employers should outline policies about teleworking, travel and sick leave and keep track of local and national recommendations, among other steps.

The CDC said if there is evidence of a U.S. COVID-19 outbreak, employers "should plan to be able to respond in a flexible way to varying levels of severity and be prepared to refine their business response plans as needed."

But the center emphasized that the immediate health risk from COVID-19 for the general American public is considered low. 

Read the full KHN report here


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