You have been hearing and reading about the coronavirus. News reports about its seriousness vary, some saying it is no more serious than a flu outbreak with others worrying it is a serious health event that could kill thousands and affect the world economy.
As a dealer, pay attention to precautions issued about the disease, which the World Health Organization announced on Feb. 11 shall be known as COVID-19. A serious outbreak among your employees in your dealership could cripple your business. One resource for information about the coronavirus is this page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
List of precautions from the CDC
The CDC has published a list of precautions to help minimize the risk of transmission. You should make your employees aware of these precautions
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including 2019-nCoV.
- A facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of coronavirus, in order to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Many of these precautions are sensible to avoid more common diseases such as the flu or the common cold. However, if the coronavirus becomes as virulent as some fear, these tips will be critical to the welfare of your employees.