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Pandemic Preparedness

Article Courtesy of: Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

In today’s global world, systems are more interconnected than ever. It stands to reason then, if a pandemic strikes in one part of the world, the opportunities for it to spread are that much greater.

Pandemic Preparedness for Business

Should COVID-19 escalate in Canada, some of the things businesses need to plan for include:

  • Staff absences due to a number of reasons (personal illness, ill family members, looking after children if schools close, feeling of safety being at home etc.). In some cases employees may themselves elect to stay home; in other circumstances the government may authorize or require them to do so.
  • Disruption to essential services like information, telecommunications, financial services, energy supply, and logistics;
  • Disruption to supply of necessary materials or contractors;
  • A major increase or decrease in demand for products and services;
  • Cancellation or disruption of travel and cross-border movement of people and goods;
  • Cancellation of public meetings or gatherings like sports events, concerts or religious services;
  • Impact on the trade status of Canada, or of our trading partners; and
  • Increased public fear that causes citizens to avoid public places, including front line retail and tourist–related attractions, restaurants and leisure businesses.

Creating a Crisis Plan

To help businesses prepare for and manage through a potential COVID-19 escalation in Canada, the Canadian Chamber has developed a brief guide source from a number of best practice documents; designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts. This tool includes links to the some of the most relevant and credible information, best practice tools and resources and can be found here Pandemic Preparedness Guide.

A few years ago, Calgary’s downtown flooded. The Calgary Chamber was in the frey of this crisis. Out of bad comes good, and the chamber created an award-winning emergency preparedness kit.

As the chamber says on their website:

“Disasters big and small happen without warning, and being unable to provide your products and services to your customers can seriously hurt your business reputation. Having a plan in place before a disruption can make for a more effective response and faster recovery.”

In addition to pandemic preparedness tools, we have also created templates for your use: a Crisis Communications Plan and a Business Continuity and Recovery Plan.

The Canadian Chamber will continue to update this information on the website so you may want to bookmark this page and visit it often.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has a useful page of resource including travel advice, updates and printable reference information. Also included is a reference sheet from the World Health Organization for workplaces.

COVID-19 – Specific Information & Updates

To help you to stay alert on what is happening in your region, ontario.ca has dedicated a page to keep residents up to date on the status of the outbreak.

Locally, Peterborough Public Health Team has also created a page dedicated to the outbreak, you can follow them for more local updates on Peterborough and the Kawarthas.

Destinations International has created a Travel Industry Resources page with live updates and information regarding the virus.

Basic Protective Measures

Information courtesy of the World Health Organization.

The following are some basic protective measures against the new coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Practice respiratory hygiene
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
  • Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as your phone, taps, computers and doorknobs.