Due to the high number of inquiries received and the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG is offering COVID-19 Retainer Packages to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.
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Updated: March 31, 2020
There have been different types of information spread around that may be more anecdotal than validated; additionally, some information may be inconclusive. Today, we will briefly discuss (and debunk?) some of the more sensationalized news:
While viral particles have been reported to be found on cruise ships (days after docking), and in the blood, feces, and urine of recovered patients, this does not mean that the viral particles are live, infective, or transmissible. Further research is needed.
There is some anecdotal information that losing one’s sense of smell/taste can be indicative of having coronavirus; however, this can occur with other illnesses, too and requires further study.
There are currently no validated medications for treating the coronavirus. Please do not consume hydroxychloroquine (or any related drugs) to treat coronavirus without medical supervision. There are no validated studies to prove its efficacy.
Despite what online videos may tell you, do not pre-soak and wash your vegetables, fruits, meats/seafood with soap/detergent and water. Not only are they not labeled for use on foods, but there are also toxicity issues with consuming household dish soaps and detergents that can be absorbed into or on the produce. There is also no scientific evidence that washing produce with dilute bleach solution, lemon juice, vinegar, etc. will work; in fact, ingesting bleach (and other compounds) can be incredibly dangerous!
It is safe to use ibuprofen and acetaminophen to reduce fever, aches, and pains associated with a coronavirus infection. Media declaring that ibuprofen contributed to severe illness were anecdotal and based on observations, as opposed to being based on scientific studies.
the Food Industry
Where Your State Ranks in COVID-19, and Why You Need to Know.
March began with about 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the U.S. It is now ending with more than 160,000 confirmed cases. While representative of the country overall, there is a significant difference in the number of cases among states, with each in varying stages of the outbreak. Although the state of New York has the highest number of cases – currently at more than 52,000 -- how does this number compare to other states on a per capita basis? And how can we use these data to understand where the outbreak is headed in the US?
CNN’s ongoing live coverage of Tracking Covid-19 cases in the US is a great resource for following the spread across the U.S. It includes graphs charting the density of illness and rate of change across the U.S. and within states. Both rate of change and density of illness contribute to the risk profile of an area – and the businesses within it. One CNN graph, charts how quickly the number of known cases is doubling in each state. Overall, the number of known cases in the US is doubling about every four days. Some states (i.e. Michigan, Arizona, and New Jersey) are doubling even faster – every three days.
Using per capita data regularly updated on the CNN website, TAG has created a sortable table [link] that looks at the current rate of illness (per 100,000 people) in each state. While these data having some underlying biases (e.g. varying test criteria and test availability among states), they nonetheless provide insight into the rate of illness in each state. Furthermore, this data can provide some useful information for companies and the workforce, including:
Identifying hotspot areas which can be used to determine self-quarantine policies for people traveling from hotspot areas.
Identifying regions where absenteeism may be likely to increase.
This data can also be aggregated at the state level. Cities and regions within states may have higher or lower per capita rates of illness than what is depicted here. This is important to your business because it will directly impact your absenteeism rate, and knowing where your state is, not only in number of cases, but in percent of daily increase can help you anticipate where the outbreak may be going and what you need to do to prepare.
Finally, this data can also allow us to see when the decline appears to be starting. As it stands, that future is still a way away. Right now, we recommend that businesses continue planning for the long-term. We anticipate a 3- to 4-month disruption of business. Keep an eye on the numbers in your state – and all those in which you operate. It has become a very complex time for businesses, both national and international, as each facility’s local situation will be different and cause different impacts and business decisions. As you look at the numbers, ask yourself: Am I, or are any of my facilities, in a hot spot? Are we headed toward becoming one?
Because of all the COVID-19 unknowns, it is important to realize that the numbers are not so much predictive as they are reflective of trends. A change in local actions – for the positive or negative – can significantly impact an area’s rate of change. Just as easily, the numbers could simply defy the trends and do something entirely different. As the crisis evolves, TAG will continue to compile the data and provide interpretations to ensure we are providing you with the best information and expert guidance possible.
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Everyone should practice social distancing (more specifically, physical distancing), not only those who are ill or at higher-risk (e.g. older individuals, pre-existing conditions) but also among healthy individuals so we may "flatten the curve".
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