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Erika Collins, Susan Gross Sholinsky Quoted in “As Coronavirus Spreads, Prepare Infectious-Disease Plans”

SHRM

Erika C. Collins and Susan Gross Sholinsky, Members of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, were quoted in SHRM, in “As Coronavirus Spreads, Prepare Infectious-Disease Plans,” by Allen Smith.

Following is an excerpt:

While cases of the coronavirus have appeared primarily in mainland China, the number of reported cases in other countries continues to rise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice Feb. 19 advising that precautions be taken when traveling to Hong Kong and Japan. These precautions include cleaning hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve—not hands—when coughing or sneezing.

Such advice goes only so far, however. While employers can take commonsense steps to prevent the spread of the virus, such as issuing travel restrictions, or more-controversial steps, such as telling people to stay away from work during the 14-day incubation period if they are returning from regions with high infection rates, they might not be enough to prevent the spread of the disease. Employers in the U.S. should dust off their infectious-disease management plans or, if they don't have them, draft such plans. …

Global Spread

Worldwide, at least 2,200 people have died from the coronavirus, mostly in mainland China, and more than 76,600 have been infected, according to CNN. …

In Singapore, a 14-day leave of absence for employees returning from China is compulsory and being strictly enforced, said Erika Collins, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green in New York City. …

Infectious-Disease Management Plans …

Employers should check the CDC website every day to track the coronavirus, recently named COVID-19, Collins said. …

End of the Epidemic? …

Susan Gross Sholinsky, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green in New York City, added, “People should be mindful of the regular flu, as well.”