March 24, 2020
To: All Domestic Employees
From: Pandemic Working Group
Re: COVID-19 – Sickness Protocol/Advisory on Pandemic Trend
As we have mentioned in previous advisories, it is imperative that if you are feeling sick for whatever reason, then please stay home. If you have COVID-like symptoms (e.g., cough, fever, dizziness, shortness of breath), then please stay home and report these symptoms promptly to HR, who will, of course, maintain this information in strict confidence. Similarly, if you have been in contact with anyone who has a confirmed COVID infection, then call HR. Under federal employment guidelines (from the EEOC), the company is permitted to inquire about COVID cases among its employees in the interest of protecting the health of its workforce and its overall operations. We have provided our HR staff with a brief set of questions that are necessary for us to assess the level of risk and the appropriate arrangements that should be made in each individual case. Thank you for your cooperation.
Potential Trend of Pandemic in US:
We thought that it would be helpful to give you the revised commentary of Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the FDA, regarding the status and probable trend of the COVID-19 pandemic. Noting redoubled efforts by many states to enforce social distancing and to discourage non-essential, public activity, Dr. Gottlieb revised his earlier prediction (that the pandemic will peak in several weeks) to the effect that it will peak in 2-3 weeks and then, on average, begin to decline. In cities, such as San Francisco, where COVID restrictions were implemented early, we are seeing the detection curve beginning to flatten out. In cities that were late to take action, for example, Seattle and Miami, he expects that the pandemic will last longer and spread further.
Dr. Gottlieb reported that COVID testing capacity has expanded quickly in the US, noting that we can now test about 100,000 people per day across the country. With the revised pandemic curve and in light of state COVID orders, Dr. Gottlieb predicts that cases in the US will more likely be in the neighborhood of 100,000 as opposed to the millions. In response to questions as to whether he expects the federal government to impose stricter standards across the entire country, he responded he does not believe those measures are warranted (in light of significant activity by the states) and that, at any rate, under our form of government, health-related matters are largely the province of the states. Finally, he recommended that once the pandemic is on the decline, states should continue to keep some of the social distancing practices in place in order to avoid a resurgence of the virus.
Earlier today, President Donald Trump expressed his desire to see “the country open again” by mid-April. His senior medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci was quick to note that that timetable was flexible, that certain areas – notably, New York City, which has 60% of the nation’s confirmed COVID cases – will remain areas of concern and, further, that persons from NYC should self-quarantine for 14 days.
Bottom Line: The restrictions taken by state and local authorities are paying dividends in containing the pandemic. The areas of greatest population density where COVID orders were adopted after delay will have a longer period of contagion. Even with Gottlieb’s revised guidance, American Vanguard will continue to take measures to ensure the health and safety of our employees. We will, of course, continue to track this and keep you informed.
If you have questions on any of these matters, please contact either Kelly Willmott (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tim Donnelly (email@example.com).
COVID-19 Advisory: Sickness Protocol/Advisory on Pandemic Trend