Mitigating Risk While Returning to the Workplace

As workers everywhere begin returning to the office, maintaining the health and wellbeing of your employees is paramount. Despite cases of COVID declining in the U.S., a number of factors complicate the return-to-work process for employers and employees. Vaccination remains a vital factor in mitigating the spread and the risk of COVID, meaning, for vaccinated employees, the situation is still very dire. With more transmissible variants on the rise, not having a system to properly monitor and manage the health of your employees could lead to disaster.

Although the initial iteration of omicron is steadily declining, a new, more contagious version of Omicron is quickly becoming a cause for concern. The variant, referred to as BA.2, has already disrupted affairs in countries outside of the U.S., becoming the predominant strain in South Africa and causing another outbreak in Denmark. Due to its ability to spread (30% more easily than the original version of omicron), BA.2 is primed to become a problem domestically as well. Regarding its rate of growth in the states, virologist Samuel Scarpino said, if it doubles from comprising 3.9% of all cases in the U.S. to 8%, “that means we’re into the exponential growth phase and we may be staring at another wave of COVID-19 coming in the U.S.”.

While omicron was largely thought to be less deadly than prior variants, COVID deaths have been staggeringly high as of late. For the majority of February more than 2,000 people have reportedly died of COVID, a rate that has not been met or exceeded for this long since Winter 2021 before the COVID vaccine. Despite the common assumption that COVID is only lethal to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, the majority of this recent spike of deaths is comprised of younger, unvaccinated people. Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, medical director of the infectious diseases program at Baptist Memorial Health Care, said, “almost everybody who is critically ill, in the ICU or dying now remains unvaccinated”. In an article breaking down the death rate, CNN reported that data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates the likelihood of dying due to COVID for unvaccinated adults is 14 times higher than that of vaccinated adults and 51 times higher when compared to adults with their booster dosage. In that same article, CNN explained 90% of adults aged 65 or older are fully vaccinated; whereas, that proportion for adults under the age of 40 is less than two-thirds.

Although the Supreme Court denied OSHA’s ETS regarding vaccine mandates, some more prominent companies have taken matters into their own hands. The New York Times surveyed some of the top corporations about their COVID-19 policies and found a significant number of them will require vaccinations for their employees. Some of the more notable names among those mandating vaccines were Walmart, IBM, and Meta (formerly Facebook). Additionally, Dell, Liberty Mutual, American Family Insurance, and other companies allow their employees to submit tests regularly rather than submit a vaccination card.

Managing the testing and vaccination statuses of your employees is an incredibly important aspect of maintaining the health and safety of everyone in an organization. Kokomo24/7®’s Safetycloud™ offers a number of solutions that ease the burden of monitoring and managing your employee’s vaccination or testing statuses. With VaxTrax™ and TesTrax™ you can collect the vaccine and testing statuses of your employees respectively. Through these solutions you can send blast notifications to targeted groups of employees, schedule regular testing from our third-party provider, pull reports on the information gathered, and access helpful graphs that illustrate that information all from one easy-to-use platform. To learn more about VaxTrax™, TesTrax™, or any of our other solutions click the button below.

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