COVID-19: Employers Resources and Updates

Coronavirus Employer Resources 

The Latest – [Updated 3/16/20, 11:30 a.m.]
The outbreak of Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, originating from Wuhan, China has spread to 100+ countries, with 174,000+ cases,  6,700+ deaths, and 77,000+ recoveries from the virus. Governments have closed borders and implemented quarantines, while companies have imposed travel restrictions. The impacts of Coronavirus on businesses are being observed globally. The World Health Organization has designated coronavirus a pandemic, a disease with widespread global distribution.

  • March 16: Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-9, which temporarily closes theaters, bars, and casinos, and limits restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders. Effective Monday, March 16 at 3:00pm, the following places of public accommodation will be closed; restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos. Order restrictions will remain in place until Monday, March 30 at 11:59 pm.
  • March 15: The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 20 new presumed positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 53.
  • March 15: Executive Order 2020-8 was signed which temporarily imposes enhanced restrictions on the excessive pricing of goods, materials, emergency supplies, and consumer food items.
  • March 13: Following his declaration of a national emergency, the President said the administration would free up $50 billion in additional funding to combat the escalating crisis.
  • March 13: Executive Order 2020-5 was signed requiring all events over 250 people and all assemblages in shared spaces over 250 people to cancel beginning March 13  at 5 p.m. through April 5 at 5 p.m.
  • March 12:  Gov. Whitmer announced that in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 (due to 10 new confirmed cases), she is ordering the closure of all K-12 school buildings, public, private, and boarding, starting Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. School buildings are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 6. Read more.
  • March 11: MDHHS provided interim recommendations for COVID-19 community mitigation strategies.
  • March 10: Gov. Whitmer declares a state of emergency for Michigan to aid in response to two confirmed cases – one in Oakland County and one in Wayne County. The state’s coronavirus task force will meet Wednesday, March 11 to decide what next steps should be taken.
  • March 3: The State of Michigan creates four task forces to combat the spread of coronavirus and assess the impact it may have on Michiganders’ day-to-day lives.
  • Feb. 28: Gov. Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to coordinate state-government resources.
  • Feb. 3: The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC) to support state and local response

Today, the overall threat to the general public and in the U.S. remains low, but we recommend approaching this emerging threat to public health with an abundance of caution.

Disruptions to Business
At this time, there is no reason to overreact, but businesses should be taking precautions. The American Chamber of Commerce, based in China, has released the findings of a flash survey measuring the impact of Coronavirus on its members. Over 150 companies responded to the survey, reporting travel disruptions, reduced staff productivity, in addition to increased costs and reduced revenues. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said its economic team is tracking the virus’s impacts on the global economy, which continues to rapidly evolve.

Meanwhile, concerns are rising among businesses and employers across the U.S. regarding the well-being of employees and their productivity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has interim guidance for businesses and employers to utilize in response to Coronavirus. Businesses are encouraged to share tips with their employees that will help prevent the spread of germs and infectious diseases.

Employers: View these recommendations and consider the following: 

  • Determine whether flex working is an option and review policies.
  • Create employee communication plans for the latest information.
  • Decide how to handle spikes in absenteeism – in some communities schools may be dismissed or families may need to take care of sick family members.
  • Coordinate with state and local health officials so timely and accurate information can be provided.
  • Make a business continuity plan and be prepared to change your practices if need to maintain critical operations.
  • Encourage workplace hygiene.

Measures to take to Remain Healthy 

The Detroit Regional Chamber has provided a set of preventative measures and recommendations to its employees that will aid in minimizing exposure to respiratory infections, such as Coronavirus/COVID-19:

  1. Keep hands clean
    Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds often, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing the nose, going to the restroom, and before consuming food.
  2. Remain home when sick
    Please stay home when sick with respiratory disease symptoms and communicate with your supervisor to determine whether working from home is an option.
  3. Avoid touching your face – eyes, nose or mouth.
  4. Verbally say hello
    Refrain from physical contact. Handshaking, fist-bumping, and elbow bumping have been discouraged by some health professionals.
  5. Cover coughs and sneezes
    Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then promptly throw away the tissue.
  6. Be mindful of commonly touched items
    Cover your index finger with a tissue or napkin before pressing the elevator buttons, door handles, coffee service items, etc.
  7. Wipe down personal workspaces regularly
    Wipe down and clean workspaces at least once per week, using the Clorox wipes, Lysol spray, and hand sanitizer distributed around the office.
  8. Disinfect meeting areas
    Disinfect the table, chairs, and armrests in conference rooms following each meeting, using the rooms’ supply of Clorox wipes, Lysol spray, and hand sanitizer.
  9. Think twice before traveling and review travel advisories
    Before traveling or attending large functions and gatherings consider whether your attendance is essential. Always review travel advisories from the federal government when planning personal and business travel. Review for destinations with a risk of community spread of COVID-19.


Read more preventive measures to take while attending events and the Chamber’s statement regarding the Mackinac Policy Conference.