Coronavirus, COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 has reasonably caused quite the concern, not just in our business, our state or our country, but across the world. Our first priority is and will remain our team members, your families, our community and our clients.
What We Know
Like you, we are staying on top of new developments as they are released and putting measures in place that help ensure both safety for our team and business continuity for our clients. Our executive team is meeting and assessing the situation frequently and following all recommendations from credible sources including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy and local authorities.
We know that everyone is at some risk, but certainly that risk of exposure in the workplace varies. Our Kings III Team falls into what OSHA describes as lower exposure risk, which are jobs that do not require contact with people known to be, or suspected of being infected nor frequent close contact (within 6 feet) of the general public. Workers in this category have minimal occupational contact with the public and with coworkers. Of course, this does not safeguard anyone completely; simply less workplace exposure comparatively speaking.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
According to the CDC and other sources, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness generally thought to be spread person-to-person through respiratory droplets. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
In the age of the 24 hour news cycle, social media and unlimited publishing access to well, everyone, it’s important to put things into perspective. Does that mean you shouldn’t be worried? Of course not. Being worried is natural. We do however, want to avoid an infodemic, whereby we allow everything we read or hear to consume us. Keep things in context given the source of the information. The sources we list above including the CDC and Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy are reputable. You’ll notice we didn’t include Twitter or Facebook :)
What Kings III is Doing
Masks Required: Face masks are required at the corporate office when you are up from your desk.
Office & Offsite Deep Clean: After an initial office & offsite deep clean, we have increased weekly office cleaning from two days to three.
New Air Purifiers and Upgraded Air Filters: We have new hyper-HEPA air filter units placed throughout the building and in the EDC. We have also upgraded the air filters throughout the building as an additional precaution.
Sneeze Guards in Cubicle Spaces & EDC: Sneeze guards are being installed in our cubicle spaces and in the EDC.
Minimize Contact with Colleagues & the EDC: Non-dispatch center team members will not enter the EDC. If you have a specific need, please reach out to the EDC Manager or the COO for assistance. Additionally, we encourage corporate office staff to minimize prolonged contact with other colleagues in the office setting (don’t hover or linger near a friend’s desk, for example). Basically, just make good anti-social choices. :)
Additional Cleaning: Please utilize the increased quantities of hand sanitizer and clorox wipes provided at corporate for regularly cleaning door knobs, fingerprint access control units on exterior doors (wipe dry), phones and other work surfaces.
No Non-Employees at the Corporate Office: Effective March 13, 2020 and until further notice, we will not be accepting visitors. All deliveries should be left in the man trap at the front entrance or just outside the warehouse where Mike can pick them up. Our goal is to reduce unnecessary employee interactions with non employees during work hours.
New Hire Candidates: Tony will ask for verbal confirmations that the candidate is not sick, hasn’t traveled to any level 3 sites or is otherwise a high risk before inviting them to corporate for an in-person interview.
As you know, our cleaning crew now cleans the office three times weekly.
- Emergency operators should eliminate contact with non-dispatch center employees and areas.
- 3 new air purifiers are now in the EDC
- We will be using a bleach solution to regularly clean high-touch surfaces in the EDC
- Employees expected to wash their hands every 2 hours
- Sneeze guards are being installed in the EDC
As you know, most states are now open in some fashion. While Kings III qualifies under essential services and is able to operate under shelter in place mandates, we continue to limit our field work to emergency service and installation only for locations still sheltering in place. This includes non-operating phones and installations where customers phones are not currently operating.
For those locations in some stage of reopening, our criteria for how we decide to act operationally in any geography is pretty straightforward:
- Has the state lifted stay at home orders?
- Is the county or city following suit?
- Is our customer comfortable with supplier partners onsite?
Our basic guideline is do not travel unless you have to.
- Non essential business travel must be approved by your manager.
- Personal travel to international locations or via cruise – we will require a 14 day quarantine with the expectation you are working from home, if you are a work from home approved team member. Please reach out to your VP with any questions.
Kings III travel restrictions are subject to change as the environment changes.
We encourage you to reference CDC guidelines when making travel plans.
For essential roles that are necessary for the business to run, and that currently require staff members to work in the corporate office, the executive team has a number of plans, prioritized as needed, for meeting our staffing needs. These include, but are not limited to:
IT, Accounting, CIT, IC & Customer Service (for functions that cannot be done remotely)
- Our IT team has worked diligently to enable nearly all of these roles to now work remotely (thank you IT!). For periodic functions that must be completed in-house, we have taken additional measures such as updating work schedules to minimize the number of team members in the office on a given day.
- alternative work sites such as the back office suite (currently being prepped for renovation)
- alternative work sites such as the back office suite (currently being prepped for renovation)
- pulling existing staff with cross-over experience (example, we have several former emergency operators now in other positions)
- cross-training additional corporate office staff as needed to field easier calls, including the executive team if needed
- review any potential changes to shift scheduling to improve coverage (lengthening shifts, flexibility to move to a different shift should schools close, etc)
I’m not sick, but my child’s school is temporarily closing – what now? Reach out to your direct supervisor or VP. We’ll work with you on a plan.
What You Can Do
There simply is no sure fire way to prevent becoming infected. We all work, have home lives and may come into contact with COVID-19. This is a reality. What we can do is double down on some good basic health habits to lessen the chance of transmission.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Sing the birthday song twice – but please sing to yourself :)
- If using antibacterial hand sanitizer, make sure it’s at least 60% alcohol. Use plenty – cover your entire hands and rub together until dry.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Where disposable gloves, if applicable (ex. our field technicians) and use aggressive glove hygiene procedures:
- Sanitize hands
- Put on a fresh pair of gloves.
- If you leave the work area for any reason, throw your gloves away.
- Before returning to the work area, sanitize your hands and put on a fresh pair of gloves.
- Repeat as necessary. Kings III will supply field techs with all the disposable gloves you need.
- Keep your distance. No reason for any of us to be closer than 6 ft to people anyway. It’s called personal space. This includes in the corporate office. Better safe than sorry.
- Avoid large crowds, if able in the near term. Get to know your inner introvert.
- No time like the present to course correct if you’re a mouth breather :)
- Isolate yourself from sick friends and family. This is what we call a no-brainer.
- Increase focus on above measures if COVID-19 starts to spread through your community.
Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, phones, toilets, faucets and sinks. Most common EPA-registered household disinfects will work. Use appropriate disinfectants for the surface, including but not limited to bleach wipes or diluted household bleach, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.
Healthy habits contribute to a stronger immune system and no time like the present to double down on existing or create new healthy habits (or lose any bad habits).
- Reduce stress where able. Meditation, yoga, find what works for you.
- Stay hydrated
- Get plenty of sleep
- Stay active. Working out helps reduce stress and boost your immune system, unless you’re working out near someone infected. Maybe work out at home.
- Reduce (or quit!) smoking
- Reduce alcohol intake
If You’re Sick or Exposed
If you are sick or caring for someone who is sick, please reach out to your direct supervisor or your VP.