We are currently fielding concerns from clients on how they should prepare in the event of a local outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In response, we have compiled a list of tips and resources. We invite you to add our page to your favorites as we continue to provide updates. 


STAY CURRENT

Stay up to date on information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Due to widespread media coverage, we suggest information from the following sources:  

  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  

  World Health Organization (WHO)  

  Johns Hopkins University Interactive Map and Dashboard of COVID-19   

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COMMUNICATE & PLAN

It's the responsibility of every employer to protect employees from these and other illnesses in the workplace. Taking even small precautions could save an organization countless hours of lost productivity.

Critical Operations 

Creating a communicable disease response plan is an effective way to communicate with employees clearly while also complying with local, state and federal guidelines for pandemic responses. Plans should be concise, easy to understand and effective in preserving the health and safety of all employees.

Resources:

Communication

Best Practices:

  • Consider hanging posters in the workplace with tips on how to slow the spread of germs. The CDC offers a nice example here available in English and Spanish.
  • Encourage any employee exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., shortness of breath, cough, fever, etc.) to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever and any other symptoms without the use of medicine for at least 24 hours.
  • The CDC has created the following posters for download:

Resources:

Working Remotely

Consider the ability to work remotely and alternative coverage for ill employees. Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidelines.

Suggested Resources:

Workplace Events 

Ensure that next steps are in place should an event need to be canceled or postponed. 

Suggested Resources:

Travel

Employee travel should comply with all advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Department of State. As a result, those who are traveling to areas affected by COVID-19 should be required to follow all health recommendations. 

Resources:

Keep the Workplace Sanitary

Employers can protect against coronaviruses much like they protect against the flu: offer on-site flu shots, stock cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer and educate employees on prevention methods. The following resources can help mitigate the threat of coronavirus in your workplace. While the Servpro site below is based in Iowa, they can accommodate worksite cleaning requests nationwide.

Resources: 

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Sources: U.S. Department of LaborThinkHRFisher PhillipsWashington PostCDC, Servpro


PROPERTY & CASUALTY RESOURCES

  Insurance Carrier Information  

P&C Coverage Insight

We encourage our clients to review their insurance policies and claim reporting requirements. The scope of coverage for claims arising from Coronavirus (COVID-19) depends on the specific facts of the loss or claim, the terms of the insurance policy and the governing law of the jurisdiction in question. As with any claim, each situation is different and 'yes or no' determinations will need to be investigated.

Insured perils and/or covered causes of loss, which are defined in each policy, will determine if coverage applies. Business Interruption coverage requires the interruption to be from a Covered cause of loss (e.g., fire, tornado, etc.). Unfortunately with COVID-19, in most cases, coverage will be excluded due to a "pandemic," "epidemic," and/or "virus" exclusion of the policy.

Workers Compensation will also likely exclude COVID-19 claims in most cases, as an occupational disease must: 

  • be contracted during the course of employment.
  • be contracted due to conditions "peculiar" to the work.

Potential coverage is as follows:

  • First-Party Property and Business Interruption Insurance - insurance coverage that replaces business income lost in a disaster. The event could be, for example, a fire or a natural disaster and or for shutdown or slowdown of your own business.
    • Needs to be a covered cause of loss (with extension for Communicable Disease, Epidemic and/or Pandemic, which is rare).
  • Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) or Supply Chain Risk Insurance for disruption of supply chains and, potentially, markets, and downstream customers.
    • Needs to be a covered cause of loss (with extension for Communicable Disease, Epidemic and/or Pandemic, which is rare).
  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance - for liability to third parties arising from bodily injury or, potentially, personal injury or property damage.
    • Definition of personal injury and or property damage will aid in the determination of coverage. 
  • Directors & Officers (D&O), Management Liability, Errors & Omissions (E&O) and Professional Liability Insurance - for claims that management personnel failed to take appropriate measures to protect the business or third parties.
  • Event Cancellation Insurance
    • Needs to be a covered cause of loss (with extension for Communicable Disease, Epidemic, and or Pandemic, which is rare)
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance – when submitting a claim an employee will have to be able to establish work-relatedness. 
    • State-specific but with the incubation period being 14 days will the employee concretely be able to prove that they contracted the virus at work. 

Additional Resources:

In the event you are looking to report a claim directly to your insurance carrier, we have created a business interruption claims reporting guide.

Transportation, Freight & Supply Chain Updates

Access Independent Advantage™ Driver Resources  

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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS RESOURCES

You can trust that TrueNorth will continue to offer guidance, service and support to further protect and maximize your business operations. 

Trusted Partners:

We are so grateful for partnerships with companies like Fisher Phillips and ThinkHR. Like them, TrueNorth is here to offer employers access to current and valuable information. Visit their resource and response centers below for insight, FAQ's and more:

  Fisher Phillips: FP COVID-19 Resource Center  

  ThinkHR: COVID-19 Crisis Response Center  

Insurance Carrier Information:

We understand that it's confusing when you have different benefit carriers sending you constant updates. That is why we have put them all in one place. In this section, you will find the following information: 

  • Specific COVID-19 resources available through each carrier
  • Information on extension-of-benefits by each carrier and other frequently asked questions

  Insurance Carrier Information  

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Sources: ThinkHRCIABSHRM


NATIONAL & STATE UPDATES

Legislative Updates

We understand many of our clients are looking for answers and information regarding the third and latest stimulus package signed into law on Friday, March 27. In response, we would like to share the following resource from Steptoe and Johnson:

  Insight on CARES Act  

Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 

The following sectors have been identified to employ essential critical infrastructure workers. This guidance and accompanying list are intended to support State, Local, and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.
COVID-19: Critical Infrastructure

NATIONAL UPDATES

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Materials

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created a resource page for workers and employers. The DOL's Wage and Hour Division created a website dedicated to COVID-19 or other public health emergencies and the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Materials

While not specifically related to COVID-19, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has previously issued guidance entitled Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Updates

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)'s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued an expanded national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Materials

In response to COVID-19, the Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin regarding HIPAA Privacy and COVID-19.

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Materials

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a COVID-19 website for workers and employers that addresses the disease and provides guidance and other resources for preventing exposure to and infection with the virus. Topics covered include: 

Additional Resources: 

Sources: Steptoe & Johnson LLPU.S. DHS, U.S. DOL, U.S. EEOC, FMCSA, U.S. HHS, OSHA

STATE UPDATES

Colorado

Illinois

Iowa

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WELLBEING

Coming together as a Community. 

TrueNorth has created a LinkedIn group for clients and community partners to share work-from-home tips, family activities, motivation and other useful resources. 

  TrueNorth's Community and Wellbeing Forum   

Stop the spread of germs, including the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

Practice Hand Hygiene

Keep your hands clean to help avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Your best option is to wash your hands with soap and warm, clean running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands. 

Know the Symptoms

You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms: 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Seek medical advice if you develop symptoms AND have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Feeling Anxious About Coronavirus?

Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via a medium people already use and trust: text. Visit crisistextline.org to learn more.

Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. 

Additional Resources: 

Sources: CDC.govCrisis Text Line

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact your TrueNorth team today. 

Find and follow us here: 

Phone: (800) 798-4080 | Twitter: @TrueNorthInsure | Facebook: /TrueNorthInsure  and /TNTrucking

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