Case of coronavirus confirmed in Cardiff: Precautions to take as a small business

10/03/2020

A call centre worker in Cardiff has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

In a statement, Sky said: "We can confirm that a Sky colleague in our Cardiff contact centre has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and they are self-isolating at home."

Its office in the Capital Quarter on Tyndall Street was evacuated at 14:30 GMT on Tuesday and has been closed for deep cleaning.

Public Health Wales has so far confirmed one case in Swansea, one in Cardiff, two in Pembrokeshire, one in Newport and one in Neath Port Talbot.


How will coronovirus continue to affect small businesses?

The government has said that up to a fifth of the UK workforce could be off sick in a major coronavirus outbreak.

According to the Institute of Directors, as reported in the Financial Times, one in five directors said that the outbreak posed a severe threat to their businesses, with an additional 40 per cent of business leaders saying that the virus poses a moderate threat.

What precautions can your small business take?

Handwashing

One of the main obvious precautions that can be taken is for staff to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. Set a timer to remind staff to wash their hands every hour, or at an interval that you feel is necessary. Some employers have also placed a ban on sharing equipment such as laptops, mice and stationary to avoid contamination.


Working from home

Many employers have encouraged their employees to work from home and made facilities available for them to do so, such as remote access to their office computers and communication via email and telephone.


Visiting client's premises

If your employees are visiting other premises, there is the additional risk that they could be contaminated whilst they are on site.

Before entering the premises, it may be helpful for the employee to ask the following questions:

1. Has anyone in the premises been diagnosed with COVID-19, been asked to self-isolate, or been travelling to a coronavirus high-risk area or country in the last 14 days?

2. Is anyone in the premises suffering from flu-like symptoms?


How can you make the best of a bad situation?

If you find that many of the events/meetings that you had scheduled been cancelled due to the outbreak, perhaps you could use the time to catch up on jobs that you usually put off or don't normally get the chance to see to.

The BBC interviewed HR expert Tracey Hudson, who works with clients in the events industry. According to Tracey, many small businesses in this industry have been using the opportunity to focus on their social media marketing or reviewing their accounts system.