What can small businesses do to reduce the risk of the COVID- 19 Virus
At the time of writing, New Zealand has 12 confirm cases of Covid-19. China is now seeing decreasing numbers of infections, while countries like Italy are seeing the virus continue to spread.
The information and research provided in this blog article is largely from the NZ Ministry of Health as I wanted to ensure I can publish advice that is in line with official government guidelines.
What you need to know
The important thing to start with is that with continued vigilance the chances of widespread community outbreak remain low. There is no need for panic or hysteria as the more people can remain calm and exercise support for one another the better we will be through this time.
While there has been a slew of information out there in the media and passed on from person to person, the one thing that health experts and worldwide leaders agree on is that washing your hands and using alcohol based sanitiser is the best way to prevent getting sick.
How it spreads
Excerpt from the NZ Ministry of Health website;
Covid-19, like the flu, can be spread from person to person. When a person who has Covid-19 coughs, sneezes or talks, they may spread droplets containing the virus a short distance, which quickly settle on surrounding surfaces.
You may get infected by the virus if you touch those surfaces or objects and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
That’s why it’s really important to use good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands, and use good cough etiquette.
What can we do as a business
At our dance studio we have begun implementing the following steps to help control spread of the virus
1. Increasing level of cleaning undertaken by professional cleaners at the studio
2. Have commonly touched surfaces cleaned frequently, such as doorknobs
3. Asking parents of students to drop them off and not come inside the building, including the waiting room.
4. Ensuring students and parents stay home if they are feeling unwell
5. Asking anyone who has arrived back from overseas countries to self isolate for 14 days and not attend any dance classes.
6. While it's not easy for a dance studio - if your business can enable staff to work from home it is a good way of reducing the chances of spreading the virus
If the coronavirus continues on its current trajectory, as expected, it’s possible employees will need time off to recover from an illness or care for others. Consider reviewing your small business’ sick leave policy and have backups in place if staff need to take leave.
Support Small Business
As a dance studio and small business, we need to do our part to reduce the impact of the virus as much as possible. At the same time we can be a place where students can go and get involved in dance and take their mind off any pressures in the outside world.
At this stage there is no direction from the government to close schools or dance schools. Of course if it comes to this we will have to carry out a studio closure, until then we will manage the best we can.
It's important to remember that small businesses are still needing to pay overheads and have staff to take care of during this turbulent economic time. If you can support you local business then I would encourage you to do so.
Your support now may be the difference between the business being there or not once the virus is under control and life returns back to normality
Managing your wellbeing
Even though there are restrictions in place to reduce virus spread, its important that you continue with your usual routines as much as possible.
Keep active - go to work if possible, keep up with leisure activities and keep in contact with friends even if by phone or social media.
Some of your friends or family are going to be impacted due to the downturns in some industries. This may affect their work and livelihood and make this period of time difficult to pay bills and provide for their basic needs. Reach out to your friends and family and see if they need support.
The government released their stimulus package today and is outlined in the below link: