If you’re in HR, use this email template to communicate to your staff regarding coronavirus and flu prevention
Talking to your employees about the coronavirus is no easy feat. It’s hard to strike the right balance between informing staff of the facts and sharing the protective measures your business is taking without sowing fear or anxiety amongst an already tense workforce.
Yet now is the time for resolute action, strong leadership, and clear communication. Above all, your staff need to know you’re closely monitoring the outbreak and that you have their best interests at heart.
If you’re in HR, it’s up to your team to assuage employee fears while also taking precautions to protect the workplace — start by sending this email.
Coronavirus Memo To Employees
To: Our Valued Employees
Subject: COVID-19: Keeping Our Workplace Safe
As global concern about the current COVID-19 outbreak grows, we’re doing our best to keep everyone healthy and safe in the workplace while also minimizing the disruptions to our day-to-day operations.
We’re closely monitoring the situation and know that misinformation and fear can spread more virulently than the virus itself, and we want to discourage false information from circulating. If you’re looking for trusted, up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the specific coronavirus websites of the CDC or the WHO.
We understand the current outbreak is worrying, and we want to take a moment to share the ways we can all help keep the workplace safe, as well as the steps we’ll take as an organization if and when necessary.
Since the virus is highly contagious and there’s currently no vaccine, we all need to:
- Stay home if we are sick
If you experience cold, flu-like symptoms, or simply a running nose, please stay home. Because the coronavirus produces cold-like symptoms in 80% of infected individuals, it’s important to remain at home when ill regardless of how mild your symptoms are. If you have a fever over 100 degrees, please stay home for 14 days to ensure you have not contracted the coronavirus.
- Refrain from visiting the workplace after travel to an infected city or high-risk country
Please do not come into the workplace for 14 days if you’ve visited a city with a confirmed case of the virus, whether the trip was business-related or for personal travel. Additionally, if you’ve visited any city — with or without confirmed cases — in the countries of China, South Korea, Italy, or Iran, please refrain from entering the workplace for 14 days.
- Stay home if we’ve had contact with a potentially infected person
The virus spreads easily from person to person. Please stay home for 14-days if you’ve had contact with a confirmed case or potentially infected person. This includes persons returning from high-risk countries.
- Refresh ourselves on proper cough and sneeze hygiene
Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue or your elbow — not your hand — and discard the tissue immediately after.
- Wash our hands regularly
Proper hand washing remains the best way to prevent transmission of the virus. Wash your hands after using the restroom, touching your face, eating, drinking, coughing, or sneezing, and at regular intervals throughout the day. Use warm soapy water and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Alternatively, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is effective as well.
- Stop touching our faces
Fomites — objects that we commonly touch — are the main way the disease is spreading. Reduce the chance of transmission from a fomite, like a doorknob, by keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Rely on virtual communication when possible
In an effort to cut down on human-to-human contact, please cancel in-person meetings and communicate via videoconferencing or phone calls.
- Get the flu vaccine
Healthy individuals are less susceptible to contracting the coronavirus. Keep yourself healthy by getting this year’s vaccine.
In turn, the measures we’re taking as a company will be:
[We recognize not all of these measures will be applicable to all SMBs. Select the options that are feasible for your company]
- Increase supplies of sanitizer wipes
We’ll ensure the workplace has ample sanitizer wipes and ask that employees regularly wipe down their workstations.
- Provide ample hand sanitizer and tissues around the office
Please cough and sneeze into tissues and immediately discard them. Use hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing, touching your face, and regularly throughout the day.
- Temporarily ban visitors and non-essential personnel from the property
This includes personal visitors and non-essential business visits from vendors, clients, and suppliers.
- Take action if school or public transport is cancelled
In the case of these events, the company will evaluate and take action.
- Increase the frequency of cleanings
We’ll be increasing the frequency of our cleaning service from once per week to twice to ensure the workplace remains as hygienic as possible.
- Consider remote work arrangements
While we don’t have a WFH policy currently in place, we will evaluate the option if the virus continues to spread. In the meantime, if you have concerns please contact HR and we will evaluate telework requests on a case-by-case basis.
Of all these measures, we cannot stress enough the importance of staying home when you’re sick. Please do your part to keep everyone safe and healthy by refraining from coming into work with symptoms even if you “feel fine.”
As always, please contact the HR departments with any questions or concerns.
Thanks for your continued support in this uncertain time.