Dear Chamber Members:
It has been recommended by Lyon County Public Health and Lyon County Emergency Management to cancel or postpone events due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The State of Kansas has also declared a state of emergency. Therefore, the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the League of Women Voters have canceled their Legislative Dialogue that was scheduled for this Saturday, March 14th at 8:30 a.m. on the third floor of the Lyon County History Center.
The Ribbon Cutting for Newman Regional Health on Monday; the Business After Hours scheduled for next Thursday, March 19 and a Lunch and Learn scheduled for Friday, March 20 have also been cancelled or postponed.
We at the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau are doing everything to keep our members informed of ways to plan and respond to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease).
Businesses can find two documents offering guidance for Employers and Employees to plan and respond to the Coronavirus. These documents can be found on the Chamber’s website www.emporiakschamber.org Scroll down the home page to our new releases section to find the link to these two documents
The Chamber and Visitors Bureau is also participating in calls with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on discussions regarding business operations and revenue disruptions. Information gathered from these and any other discussions will be shared on the Chamber’s website and in weekly member emails.
Updates and status reports on other upcoming activities and events can be found on the Chamber’s website. Anyone with questions may call the office at 342-1600.
Guidance for Employers Include:
- Determine whether flex working is an option: Review human resources policies and explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours. Supervisors should educate employees that if they become sick, they should telework instead of coming into the workplace until symptoms are completely resolved.
- Create an employee communications plan: Establish a process to communicate the latest Coronavirus information to employees and business partners (utilize the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Workplace Tips For Employees). Anticipate employee fear, anxiety, rumors, and misinformation, and plan communications accordingly.
- Decide how to handle spikes in absenteeism: In some communities, early childhood programs and K-12 schools may be dismissed, particularly if Coronavirus worsens. Determine how you will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children if dismissed from school.
- Coordinate with state and local health officials: Coordination with state and local health officials is strongly encouraged for all businesses so that timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses in each location where their operations reside. Given the intensity of an outbreak may differ according to geographic location, local health officials will be issuing guidance specific to their communities. Also, employers should take the time now to learn about plans in place in each community where they have a business by contacting their local public health department.
- Make a business continuity plan: Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, consider digital meetings, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).
Other useful links:
Positive tests results are reported on KDHE’s website at: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/publicupdate/COVID-19_March_11_2020.pdf.
Additional information can be found on our website and new information will be shared as it becomes available.