COVID-19 and You
Answers to your most common questions regarding your home, business and health
By GLBM Staff
The arrival of COVID-19 to Michigan has affected all of us in one way or another. GLBM has gathered the answers for questions you might have as they relate to your home or business life.
We’ll be adding to this list throughout the coming days to keep you informed.
What health and safety measures should be followed to protect my customers and employees?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a guide that will be updated regularly to provide businesses and employers with the latest information regarding the coronavirus. For full details and updates stay tuned to https://tinyurl.com/tbcvjdb. In the meantime, the following precautions are critical to the health and safety of your employees and customers.
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Ensure your sick/leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and employees are aware of these policies.
- Do not require a health care provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or return to work. Health care offices are extremely busy at this time and may be unable to provide documentation in a timely manner.
- Employers should remain flexible in policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member.
- Separate sick employees and practice social distancing.
- Enforce sick etiquette and hand hygiene among all employees.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning.
What can I do to handle financial burdens at this time?
The coronavirus will surely have an impact on your business and has already disrupted the global economy. As such, it is important to consider what actions may be taken in the event your business is faced with major financial implications.
The U.S. government is currently discussing additional means for economic relief at this time, but some traditional cost management methods might be worth considering for your business.
- Apply for a small-business loan or business line of credit
In an effort to help control the economy, the federal government has slashed interest rates. Assuming the coronavirus will be a short scare, it may be in your interest to take out a small-business loan at this time. At extremely low rates, this is a method to consider for covering business expenses and might also be a strong opportunity to secure funding for planned projects, such as business expansion.
Alternatively, seeking out a business line of credit might be a strong option if you don’t require a large amount to cover operation costs, employees, benefits and other financial obligations. The line of credit remains open and only increases repayment based on usage, making it a flexible option.
- Small businesses may seek financial assistance from the economic disaster fund
Find more information on the Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at SBA.gov/Disaster.
The SBA will work directly with state governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by the coronavirus. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million, which can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
What should I be telling my customers and the community?
While we hope the coronavirus will be short lived, when we return to normality it will be important that your organization has stayed top of mind for consumers unable to access your business during closures and quarantine measures. Continuously communicate with your customers about how your business is acting, supporting and protecting the community, and become a leader in preventative measures and safety culture.
Use your business’s social media accounts, avenues for advertising and other marketing tools to ensure customers are thinking about you as much as you’re thinking about them during this difficult time.
Restaurants are closed. Can I still order delivery services?
Although Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to close all bars and restaurants on March 16, people can still get delivery or takeout at restaurants that offer those services. Consider ordering delivery directly through the restaurant if it offers that service, as third party delivery services cut into restaurants’ already-reduced profit margins.
Is it safe to order takeout?
It’s safe to order delivery with some stipulations. According to the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, there is currently no evidence of food being associated with COVID-19 transmission.
Since transmission of the virus comes from human contact, not the food, you can request a contactless delivery. This is when a delivery person drops off the food in a designated location and stands at least 6 feet away while you check your food. To avoid the exchange of money, consider paying via credit card and tipping on the credit card or cash app.
What can I use for deliveries?
- Unlimited same-day grocery delivery.
- Food delivery from restaurants.
- Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney, at a news conference at Chicago City Hall, said the company is prepared to delay collection of $100 million in fees. The fees would affect restaurants across the country, not just certain cities. Maloney said Grubhub was looped in March 12 after officials from cities like Chicago, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Atlanta discussed how they could help restaurants during the pandemic and reached out to the company. It’s unclear how long with Grubhub will wait until it collects fees from restaurants.
- Uber Eats
- Food delivery from restaurants.
- Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees. ‘We can work together to support local business. We’re offering $0 Delivery Fee for all local restaurants starting today,‘ it says on its app.
- Food delivery from restaurants.
- Food delivery, groceries and alcohol delivery.
- Offers no-contact delivery options.
- On-demand grocery delivery.
What are the facts on tipping?
- Many restaurant workers have had hours cut or have been laid off during the pandemic. Additionally, restaurant workers are going above and beyond to ensure the clean and safe transmission of food. It is important that people tip generously and rate the deliveries high on review sites or in apps.
- According to CNN Money, you should regularly tip a food delivery person 10% of the bill and 15-20% (or a minimum of $5 per delivery, according to Groupon) on difficult deliveries. Consider throwing in extra for the great deal of work being put into deliveries right now.
I need help feeding my family because the kids are off school. Where can I turn?
Many area schools have developed programs you can use while the kids are off. Click the links below for information or contact your local food bank.
- Lansing Schools
- East Lansing Schools
- Holt Schools
- Okemos schools
- Greater Lansing Food Bank
- Waverly Community Schools
- Gardner International Magnet School
What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?
According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and may appear tow days to 14 days after exposure.
Watch for fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Emergency warning signs include difficulty breathing, persistent pain, new confusion or inability to arouse and bluish lips or face.
How can I get tested?
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, individuals who are concerned about their health and experiencing respiratory illness or other serious or concerning symptoms should contact their health care provider. Health care providers request testing based on a patient’s signs, symptoms, travel history and risk.
I hear different things about facemasks, should I wear one?
Clevelandclinic.org says if you are not sick, you don’t need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone with COVID-19 and he or she is not able to wear a mask. Facemasks should be saved for health care workers.
How can I do my part to stop the spread of the new coronavirus?
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available. Keep your hands away from your face and follow the CDC recommendations on social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others.
I have questions but I don’t know who to trust or ask. Who should I contact?
Call the COVID-19 hotline at (888) 535-6136.
Sources: U.S. Small Business Association, Forbes, Vistage, Centers for Disease Control, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Cleveland Clinic, WLNS, Lansing State Journal and Crain’s Detroit.
Tags: COVID-19 FAQS