Many organizations, particularly multinationals, have infectious-disease management plans, but the majority do not, said John Beattie, a principal consultant with Sungard Availability Services in Wayne, Pa. Sungard assesses the state of companies' business continuity plans to identify gaps, including vulnerabilities when there is an outbreak of an infectious disease. Employers not only have to deal with the current outbreak, but they also must prepare for the virus to recur next year. If the coronavirus is not controlled soon, it could materialize stronger and faster next winter, he cautioned. Companies need emergency teams headed by a coronavirus coordinator and a cross-functional team that includes HR, legal and information technology, said Joseph Deng, an attorney with Baker McKenzie in Los Angeles. An effective pandemic plan addresses such topics as: ** Workplace safety precautions. ** Employee travel restrictions. ** Provisions for stranded travelers unable to return home. ** Mandatory medical check-ups, vaccinations or medication. ** Mandatory reporting of exposure, such as employees reporting to employers and employers reporting to public health authorities. ** Employee quarantine or isolation. ** Facility shutdowns.
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