New cases are down dramatically across most of the US, hospitals are becoming less crowded with serious Covid-19 patients, and deaths have been dropping as well. As we enter the endemic, businesses in the US should think of Covid-19 as they do many other business risks – as something to mitigate, monitor, and be prepared for in the event it becomes pressing.
A Message on COVID-19 from WorkSTEPS Medical Director Dr. Ben Hoffman
As you can imagine, we watch Covid-19 data pretty closely at WorkSTEPS, and in the past few weeks we’ve been relieved that the trends hoped for back in January have become reality. New cases are down dramatically across most of the US, hospitals are becoming less crowded with serious Covid-19 patients, and deaths have been dropping as well.
While global hot spots (including China and Hongkong) remain, in the US the combination of vaccines, effective treatments, and the protection offered by prior infection are ushering in the endemic phase of this crisis. In the endemic phase, the risk of serious illness and death exists, but at a level that doesn’t require societal interventions. Think: seasonal flu.
This is all good news, but…yes, there is a “but” …the risk of serious illness and death from Covid-19 persists for some, and it is possible that new dangerous and vaccine-evading variants could emerge, reigniting the pandemic. So, as we enter the endemic, businesses in the US should think of Covid-19 as they do many other business risks – as something to mitigate, monitor, and be prepared for in the event it becomes pressing.
Transitioning to endemic Covid-19, we recommend focusing on three objectives.
The threat of Covid-19 is not gone, particularly for employees, contractors, or customers who are immunocompromised, or who live with / care for people who are immunocompromised. For the foreseeable future, companies should:
Now is the best time for a candid evaluation of your organization’s response to the pandemic, and for applying lessons learned to preparation for a potential resurgence of this pandemic, or emergence of another threat. We recommend:
The relief you’re feeling is being felt by everyone. Capitalize on the change.
We have all been through a long and arduous trek. Sometimes the crisis has found us at our best; other times it’s brought out our worst. As the pandemic recedes, we need to remain aware of the threat, but not miss the opportunity to celebrate, be grateful, and take steps to mend what has been broken.
I’m happy to say that what began as “The Covid-19 Brief” will continue as simply “The Brief.” The pandemic has made clear what many of us have long known – that the health, safety and wellbeing of people has profound impacts on the productivity, resiliency, and prosperity of businesses. So, as we’ve done for the past two years, we commit to using this newsletter to provide you with information and insights you can use to improve the health of your people and your business.
As always, we welcome your feedback and ideas. Please click here to share comments and suggestions for topics you’d like us to address.
Dr. Ben Hoffman