How Canadian businesses can prepare for COVID-19
What is COVID-19 also known as “novel coronavirus?”
COVID-19 also referred to as “novel coronavirus (nCoV),” is a new coronavirus that hasn’t been found in humans before. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that normally spread among humans and cause mild illness.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), common signs of infection include:
- respiratory symptoms
- shortness of breath
- breathing difficulties
In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Some standard steps to prevent infection spread include washing hands often and covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Thoroughly cooking meat and eggs is another way to avoid infection. Avoid close contact with anyone showing signs of illness.
For more on how to prevent and prepare for COVID-19, click here.
5 steps that Canadian businesses can take today
1. Keep yourself safe and up-to-date.
To keep yourself safe an up-to-date, follow credible sources such as the WHO, Health Canada and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA). This will help you respond to changes that can affect employees and clients.
2. Stay in touch with your clients.
Share information with your customers through email, social media or however you typically connect. At Parsai Immigration Services, keeping our clients up-to-date to keep everyone safe is of utmost importance. The information provided is obtained from publicly available sources, including government entities.
3. Try hosting online events and meetings.
Many events are being postponed/cancelled as a result of COVID-19. If possible, businesses can try hosting webinars and going live on social media.
4. Prepare a customer service plan.
To be responsive and transparent with your clients and customers, prepare for questions and requests. Consider creating templated information in the form of email responses, newsletters and social media posts. In case of a local outbreak, a business can connect with customers using social media messaging or WhatsApp.
5. Provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Depending on the volume of questions about COVID-19, businesses can prepare a list of FAQs with detailed answers.
Keeping the workplace safe
Encourage your employees to:
1. Practise good hygiene
- Stop handshaking – use other non-contact ways of greeting
- Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand washing reminders
- Create habits and reminders to avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes
- Promote tap and pay to limit the handling of cash
- Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly
- Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting the air conditioning
2. Be careful with meetings and travel
- Use video and phone conferencing for meetings when possible
- When not possible, hold meetings in open and airy spaces
- Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings
- Assess the risks of business travel
3. Handle food carefully
- Limit food sharing
- Strengthen health screening for cafeteria/food-court staff and their close contacts
- Ensure cafeteria/food-court staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene
4. Stay home if…
- They are feeling sick
- They have a sick family member in their home
5. Avoid crowding
- Use booking and scheduling to stagger customer flow
- Use online transactions where possible
- Consider limiting attendance at larger gatherings
- Practise social distancing
6. For commuters, transit businesses, taxis, and ride shares…
- Keep windows open when possible
- Increase ventilation
- Regularly disinfect surfaces
Parsai Immigration Services would like to reassure our clients, customers, partners and sponsors. We have developed policies to follow the above measures in regard to COVID-19.
Publicist, Parsai Immigration Services
For information and resources on how to prevent and prepare for COVID-19, click here.
For information on how COVID-19 is affecting Canadian immigration, click here.
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Disclaimer: This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We are not responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.