Responding to the Coronavirus

What Clubs Need to Know

Published Tuesday, February 25, 2020
by Henry Wallmeyer

Editor's Note:With new developments coming in daily, NCA is providing the Coronavirus Resource Center to all clubs in the industry. Use this resource for guidance and specific examples on how to address your club's concerns and mitigate risk.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory virus that spreads from person-to-person contact. The virus was first identified in an outbreak in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019. Currently dozens of countries have cases of COVID-19, and more than 100,000 people including hundreds of Americans have been infected. The World Health Organization provides guidance and information on the outbreak.

Much is still unknown about the rapidly evolving situation and there is no vaccine at this time. Elderly are at higher risk and the transmission can occur by people without symptoms. Though the virus is not currently spreading in the U.S., the risk of infection comes from those that have traveled to China recently. Transmission exposure is higher with health care workers and close contacts of people infected with the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are closely monitoring the situation and provide the following links for additional information, resources and procedures:

Coronavirus Website

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19

Interim U.S. and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Travel 

COVID-19 fact sheet

The U.S. Department of Labor also provides information for workers and employers about COVID-19. Visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website for guidance on hazard recognition, standards, medical information and control and prevention.

Club Response

With the possibility of a U.S. outbreak growing, clubs should discuss precautions with their boards, review their business continuity or emergency preparedness plan and update employee contact information. 

Other actions clubs should have in place include:

  • Establish phone trees to efficiently contact employees to check on and alert them during an emergency.
  • Keep contact information for suppliers, vendors and other key contacts both in print and online in case of absence of an employee who typically deals with those individuals.
  • Prepare for operational disruptions now by conducting employee cross-training, if possible, for key responsibilities and positions, as well as lining up backup staff.
  • Review HR policies for paid and unpaid leave and teleworking.
  • Establish club policies during a pandemic and be aware of Family Medical Leave Act requirements (if the club has more than 50 employees).
  • Pandemic Preparedness Resources are available in the event the current COVID-19 outbreak triggers a pandemic.

Clubs are committed to providing a clean and safe environment for members and guests. In response to member inquiries about the potential spread of COVID-19 at the club, one NCA member developed this communication to clarify its responsibility and role in protecting its membership and staff. Click here to view our Coronavirus Example Response to a Member Inquiry. Additional precautions in the facilities should be implemented, including:

  • Increase outside air flow to the building to increase the amount of fresh air flow throughout the facilities.
  • Increased cleaning frequency of all common and high traffic areas including lobby, security desk and building entrance doors.
  • Sanitization of commonly touched surfaces such as door handles, restroom fixtures, water fountains, elevator call buttons, handrails, entry doors and hardware as well as dining spaces, lounge areas and locker rooms.

Because clubs are an environment in which a lot of interaction occurs among individuals, it is important to remind employees in all areas of the club that good hygiene practices are critical to preventing the spread of influenza as well as other potential illnesses. Remind employees that their health and safety, as well as that of the club members, is the number-one priority.

Remember the basic steps of proper hygiene:

  • Wash hands often with soap and hot water
  • Cover mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes

Inform employees of the symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. 

NCA is continuously working to gather resources to keep your clubs, its members and staff safe. Please contact NCA at 202-822-9822 if you have additional questions regarding your club's response to the virus. 

 

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