December 15, 2020
- Cases are surging, and the workplace is a significant contributor to this surge
- ABC and Gallop polls show >40% of Americans will wait or not be vaccinated
- Wrongful injury and death suits due to Covid-19 continue to be filed
- A new White House could bolster OSHA's mandate as related to Covid19 in the workplace
Over the weekend, NPR's All Things Considered aired a radio segment that featured the Washington Post's Eli Rosenberg. Rosenberg, a labor reporter, described the legal complications likely holding up the next Covid-19 Relief Bill. He explained one item that has become a major sticking point between Democrats and Republicans is liability. Republicans want a provision included to help shield businesses from lawsuits that result from Covid19, wrongful injuries, and death suits. Democrats have rejected the inclusion of the provision to this point and do not appear prepared to agree to it in the future.
He went on to say that workplace transmissions "are believed to be a significant driver of infections across the country." Rosenberg asserted the Trump administration through OSHA has been slow and weak to respond to workplace issues.
The incoming administration's Corona Virus Task Force is likely to advocate for broader application-based EN or "Expose Notification" applications. The downside to this is that the applications are only effective if used, and privacy and tracking concerns will likely limit the acceptance and use of these apps. Rosenberg also offered that the Biden administration could seek to protect workers by defining an enforceable safety standard and using OSHA inspections to ensure businesses adhere to it. The thought is that inspections and stronger workplace standards will work to limit transmissions in the workplace and beyond.
Even with a vaccine, contact tracing may still loom very large for organizations that require employees in the workplace or want to move people back into the workplace. If standards do change, businesses will quickly become overwhelmed with excel worksheets and employee interviews. Manual contact tracing methods are inefficient at best and will do nothing to limit disease transmission in any meaningful way. Smartphones do not work for this purpose, and even if they did work, phone-based apps typically track employees, not trace them, leading to employees' unwillingness to install and use the apps.
At Skylytics, we believe the health and well-being of a business and those who work there is paramount, which is why we recently announced the general availability of safercontact™. Safercontact™ offers a dynamic contact tracing solution that is secure, accurate, scalable, and anonymous.
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