Analysis of the CARES Act
In response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020. This historic bill, the third legislative response to COVID-19, provides more than $2 trillion for economic relief to businesses and individuals, as well as much-needed resources to state and local governments.
NGA Resource: Updated State Actions Relating to Coronavirus
With new COVID-19-related policies and orders being released at a rapid pace at the state and local level, it can be a challenge to stay on top of the latest policy news. The National Governors Association’s coronavirus resource page posts current content concerning each state, as well as a basic overview of the latest efforts by the federal government. Updated each day, the page includes a summary State Action Tracking Chart and lists the states that have adopted emergency declarations, National Guard activations, travel restrictions, limits on gatherings, school closures and non-essential business closures. Users can select a specific state and view a comprehensive, chronological list of actions taken along with a link to that state’s public health coronavirus resource page.
Embracing Social Distancing
The term “social distancing” has gained popularity as governments take increasing measures to control the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, social distancing—a strategy for reducing close contact between people—and temporary closures of settings where people gather (including shelter-in-place orders) are two of the most commonly used community nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). As response measures continue to evolve, property professionals should learn more about community NPIs to better understand these efforts and how they might affect building operations.
Business Resiliency Resources
As concerns regarding the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on businesses continue to grow, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has developed a resource page to aid the private sector as they navigate these challenges. The resources include a Guidance for Employers document that addresses things like how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at work and a Resilience in a Box toolkit that covers basic best practices for business resilience.
Guidance for Employers and Tenants
For help preventing workplace exposure, evaluating risk and preparing for the possibility of a community outbreak, real estate companies and tenants should refer to the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, an in-depth resource that formed the basis for BOMA International’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Checklist. Among other measures, employers are advised to encourage sick employees to stay home by providing flexible sick leave policies.
Handwashing: Something We Can All Do
One of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid spreading or contracting illness is by regularly washing your hands—but if you’re not scrubbing for at least 20 seconds (or two rounds of the “Happy Birthday” song), you’re not taking proper precautions. Make sure that you’re washing your hands the right way by checking out the CDC’s guide to handwashing, and hang these printable fact sheets around your properties and in your offices to help others learn proper handwashing technique.
Coping with Stress During the Outbreak
While hygiene and employee health are already top-of-mind for many employers, it’s also important to consider how your workplace is promoting mental health and emotional well-being. In addition to a wide range of other helpful advice, the WHO website offers guidance on how to cope with the stress of a global health crisis. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, talking to friends and family and relying on credible information sources to avoid undue panic are all effective strategies for stress management. Global employee assistance program provider ComPsych has also released a free webinar titled Coping with Uncertainty About the Coronavirus.
ASHRAE Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
ASHRAE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Resources
ULI’s Confronting COVID-19: Social Distancing, Buildings and Lessons from Asia
CDC’s Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication in and Infectious Disease Outbreak
CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19