Facts  |  Resources  |  Impact

COMBATING CORONAVIRUS

Updated Friday, April 2, 2021, 4:30PM EST

With the rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) around the United States and the world, it is important to us that we both understand how this is impacting your business and employees, and share up-to-date information and resources to better protect your enterprise. Scroll down to learn more about the virus, see what resources (local, state, and federal) are available, and how you're reporting on the impact this will have on you. Got any questions or recommendations? Send them to info@becma.org.

Combating Coronavirus

FACTS & GUIDELINES

Here is the latest information on what COVID is and how to get the vaccine:

Preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment


People can preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at mass vaccination locations only. Once you sign up for preregistration, you’ll receive weekly status updates. You can opt out at any time if you find an appointment elsewhere. Mass vaccination locations include:

  • Gillette Stadium
  • Hynes Convention Center
  • Reggie Lewis Center
  • Danvers DoubleTree Hotel
  • Natick Mall
  • Eastfield Mall, Springfield
  • Former Circuit City, Dartmouth
How to preregister: To preregister and be notified about available vaccine appointments at mass vaccination locations, you will need the following:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Contact information
  • Preferred method of communication like email, text, or phone call
  • Option to ask for help scheduling over the phone
  • Information about eligibility (living situations, medical conditions, occupations)
To help older people and others who are unable to use the form, family members, caregivers, or other companions can fill out the form on behalf of someone else. People who do not have internet access or someone to fill the form out for them can call 2-1-1 to preregister. You will not be offered an appointment until you're eligible for the vaccine. Massachusetts receives a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government each week. Due to high demand and very limited supply, there are a limited number of appointments available for eligible people. Please keep in mind that it could take several weeks or longer to be contacted with an opportunity to schedule your appointment. Learn more about how to pre-register: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/preregister-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-appointment Pre-register here: https://vaccinesignup.mass.gov/#/




What is Cornoavirus?


[From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] - "Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people, such as with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in China and some limited person-to-person transmission has been reported in countries outside China, including the United States. However, respiratory illnesses like seasonal influenza, are currently widespread in many US communities." Visit the CDC website to learn more. CDC-recommended strategies for employers to use: Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

  • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
​​ Separate sick employees: CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available). ​​
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.
​​ Perform routine environmental cleaning:
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
  • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
​​ Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:
  • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.
  • Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
  • If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.
​​ Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
  • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.




When can my business reopen?


To learn more about the state's reopening plan, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts.





 
 

Combating Coronavirus

BUSINESS RESOURCES

Here are the available small business resources as we understand them. We will continue to update this list as more information becomes available.

Preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment


People can preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at mass vaccination locations only. Once you sign up for preregistration, you’ll receive weekly status updates. You can opt out at any time if you find an appointment elsewhere. Mass vaccination locations include:

  • Gillette Stadium
  • Hynes Convention Center
  • Reggie Lewis Center
  • Danvers DoubleTree Hotel
  • Natick Mall
  • Eastfield Mall, Springfield
  • Former Circuit City, Dartmouth
How to preregister: To preregister and be notified about available vaccine appointments at mass vaccination locations, you will need the following:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Contact information
  • Preferred method of communication like email, text, or phone call
  • Option to ask for help scheduling over the phone
  • Information about eligibility (living situations, medical conditions, occupations)
To help older people and others who are unable to use the form, family members, caregivers, or other companions can fill out the form on behalf of someone else. People who do not have internet access or someone to fill the form out for them can call 2-1-1 to preregister. You will not be offered an appointment until you're eligible for the vaccine. Massachusetts receives a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government each week. Due to high demand and very limited supply, there are a limited number of appointments available for eligible people. Please keep in mind that it could take several weeks or longer to be contacted with an opportunity to schedule your appointment. Learn more about how to pre-register: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/preregister-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-appointment Pre-register here: https://vaccinesignup.mass.gov/#/




What is Cornoavirus?


[From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] - "Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people, such as with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in China and some limited person-to-person transmission has been reported in countries outside China, including the United States. However, respiratory illnesses like seasonal influenza, are currently widespread in many US communities." Visit the CDC website to learn more. CDC-recommended strategies for employers to use: Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

  • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
​​ Separate sick employees: CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available). ​​
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.
​​ Perform routine environmental cleaning:
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
  • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
​​ Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:
  • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.
  • Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
  • If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.
​​ Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
  • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.




When can my business reopen?


To learn more about the state's reopening plan, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts.





Combating Coronavirus

ASSESSING THE IMPACT

 

Between March 13, 2020, and March 17, 2020, we conducted a brief survey of BECMA business members and other Black business owners and entrepreneurs. The final report of our findings is posted below. Information gathered from the survey will help us determine the best ways to support businesses across the Commonwealth and also allow us to work with our partners to develop substantive solutions to help mitigate any damage caused by Coronavirus.

© 2020 Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc.

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