What you need to know
- Santa Clara County has advised all companies on measures to reduce the possible spread of the Coronavirus in its workforce.
- It's encouraging telecommuting and staggered work start times.
- Google has already adopted many of its suggested measures.
In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19), bodies around the globe have been taking measures to limit the spread. In the tech industry, staples like MWC and Google I/O have already shut down, and there's no sign of a slow down just yet.
Santa Clara County, home to tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and others, has issued advice (via The Verge) to companies within its borders on how to limit the potential spread of the virus among employees.
The guidance states:
Employers should take steps to make it more feasible for their employees to work in ways that minimize close contact with large numbers of people.
- Suspend nonessential employee travel.
- Minimize the number of employees working within arm's length of one another, including minimizing or canceling large in-person meetings and conferences.
- Urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.
- Not require a doctor's note for employees that are sick as healthcare offices may be very busy and unable to provide that documentation right away.
- Consider use of telecommuting options for appropriate employees.
- Consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time.
It adheres to guidelines set by the WHO and CDC, and has already been adopted in some part by tech companies. Take Google, the firm had already canceled its I/O developer conference, replacing it with a digital equivalent. The same with its Google News Initiative Summit. Similarly, after an employee in Zurich was tested positive for the virus, the firm also moved to halt all nonessential travel.
"We understand that people are very concerned about COVID-19. I want to remind the public that the vast majority of people who become infected with COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, and fully recover. We are making these recommendations to protect the most vulnerable members of our community from the virus, and slow its spread," said Dr. Sara Cody, County Public Health Officer. "We are continuously monitoring this evolving situation, and will issue new guidance if and when that is warranted."