The SARS-CoV-2 viral infection of 2019, known as COVID-19 for infected persons, became a worldwide pandemic in only a few short months. In late December and January the virus predominated in asian countries but quickly spread to the European nation and then the United States (U.S.). The ability of the virus to spread within a community was much stronger than the seasonal flu. Currently, as of the 22nd of April, over 1.6 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than 166,000 people have died. The virulence factor of COVID-19 has been much higher than other viruses with a mortality rate that falls between 2-5%.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread to the U.S. in February healthcare organizations and the government recognized the potential challenges this would place on the U.S. Over the past decade hospitals and other healthcare organizations had streamlined their operations in the U.S. in order to meet their financial challenges. This included eliminating a large percentage of unused beds in hospitals and decreasing supplies kept on hand. Just in time stocking was a way to only keep the supplies needed for a limited period of time which helped ensure a warehouse of resources wasn't sitting unused.
As the number of cases in Seattle, WA and other hot-spots in the U.S. grew it became clear that the U.S. needed to immediately implement broad directives like other countries had done before. In March most states within the U.S. directed businesses to close or have employees work from home, decrease interstate travel, and limit the congregation of people in schools and other common places of gathering. Additional directives for increased social distancing were implemented and in many areas fines could be imposed for individuals or businesses that failed to comply with a state's directives.
At FACSS we realize that most organizations can benefit from utilizing experts in the fields of nursing, occupational health and safety, and education. We encourage business to contact local organizations, like ours, that can help prepare for the next steps. Our goal is for businesses to be able to return to normal operations as quickly as possible while meeting their responsibilities to their employees and communities. Together, we can help keep Americans safe, at home and at work.