March 13, 2020
To: All Employees
From: American Vanguard/Pandemic Working Group
Re: COVID-19/AVD Health Guidelines & President Trump’s Speech of Today
In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to our prior advice on personal hygiene (as per the US Center for Disease Control website at (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html)) and travel restriction guidelines, American Vanguard requests that all employees abide by the following:
• If you are feeling sick, stay at home. When you contact your manager or HR, please be prepared to describe your symptoms.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., fever, coughing, dizziness, shortness of breath), then go to a doctor only if you have reason to believe that the doctor can test for this virus or your symptoms are severe. At present, test kits are in short supply. However, as per President Trump’s speech (as outlined below), testing centers are to be set up within the U.S. within the next few weeks throughout the country to facilitate testing for symptomatic persons. We will be obtaining further information on ex-US testing arrangements and reporting on them in the future.
Other Measures to Prevent Contagion
• HR will be reaching out regularly to people who are on leave with COVID-19 symptoms.
• If you confirm that you have contracted COVID-19, then please advise ( or have your caregiver advise) HR and your manager promptly. They, in turn, will contact the Pandemic Working Group (Kelly Willmott, Suneet Ranganath and Tim Donnelly, or any of them), so that we can take measures necessary to help manage the safety of the workforce at your place of work.
- If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, then please take sick leave as usual, but do not return to work until you are feeling at least 90% of full strength.
In addition, please observe the following measures to enhance the safety of our working environment:
• Clean all “high-touch” surfaces more frequently, including door handles, kitchens, break-rooms, bathrooms, railings, desk/cabinet pulls. This may involve the addition of staff, more frequent janitorial visits, and the increased supplies of cleaning products, disposable gloves and plastic bags.
• “Social distancing” – many of you have heard this term. It means that, for the duration of the pandemic, we should be attempting to maintain a distance of from three to six feet between us and others, particularly during extended periods of time. We are working on practical applications of this concept at our facilities and will provide more detailed guidance in the future.
• Personal hygiene: all employees should wash their hands frequently (with soap and water for 20 seconds or with a hand sanitizer), avoid touching their faces and observe the other recommendations of the CDC.
President Trump’s Declaration of National Emergency Today
Today, President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Rose Garden and declared the coronavirus to be a “national emergency.” This declaration was necessary in order to release federal funding (on the order of $50 billion) for the purpose of testing and otherwise improving the infrastructure for controlling the spread of the pandemic. In particular, he outlined a plan for facilitating and setting up emergency operations throughout the country through three primary means.
First, he would lift federal regulations and restrictions on such things as waiting periods, numbers of hospital beds, length of stays at hospitals, and state-to-state recognition of doctors’ licenses, so as to enable hospitals the greatest flexibility possible in treating patients. Second, in concert with Google, the government is setting up a website onto which people who present COVID-19 symptoms could log, input their symptoms and location and be directed to a “drive through” testing facility. Such facilities would be widely spread throughout the country. Visitors would undergo a throat swab (without leaving their vehicle) and could obtain results within 24 to 36 hours. Third, the Administration is working with pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the production of COVID-19 testing kits, such that one-half million should be available by next week and five million within 30 days. Details on this program are to follow early next week.
In a similar vein, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order yesterday that serves to give the state the power to waive waiting periods for unemployment compensation (relating to COVID-19), to ease certification for testing and to commandeer hotels and other spaces if necessary for quarantine or treatment of COVID-19 patients, among other things. In comments, the Governor added that he was otherwise largely leaving individuals and corporations the discretion to implement their own plans to prevent the spread of the disease, finding that most people are “doing the right thing.”
We will continue to update these advisories as events relating to this pandemic unfold globally. If you have questions on this matter, please reach out either to Kelly Willmott (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or Tim Donnelly (email@example.com