As Fresno grows closer to achieving herd immunity, many businesses may be wondering if it’s safe to start scaling back on the most costly and time-consuming aspects of their Covid-19 Safety Plans. What practices are most important to keep in place? Are there any unforeseen benefits? Keep reading to learn more.
Understanding the dangers Covid-19 still poses
Although people continue to get vaccinated, it is important to recognize that the pandemic is not yet over and that there are many dangers still present.
The Delta variants – what are they and what do you need to know?
Viruses wreak havoc by replicating themselves once they’ve infected someone. Sometimes during the process, the virus can mutate in some way. Often, the mutations don’t significantly alter how the virus functions. Sometimes, one or more mutations can make the virus better at being a virus.
In the case of the Delta variant, the virus evolved to be more contagious, making it responsible for more than 50% of Covid-19 cases in the United States since March 2021, and over 97% of new cases in the U.K. Additionally, the Delta variant mutated again to create an even more dangerous “subvariant” which enables the virus to better attack lung cells and potentially evade antibodies created by vaccines.
Who is most at risk?
People who do not benefit from full immunity are most at risk from the Delta variants, which have a higher rate of hospitalization than other virus variants.
People who don’t benefit from full immunity include:
- Those who haven’t been vaccinated, including children under 12
- People who have immune conditions – People in this category don’t always benefit from full immunity after getting vaccinated, like people who have received organ transplants.
Are fully-vaccinated people safe from variants?
The efficacy of vaccines against variants long term will require more time to determine. There has been controversy over whether or not booster shots – additional and/or revised forms of a vaccine – will be necessary.
On the whole, booster shots aren’t uncommon; most of the standard vaccines we get require booster shots to maintain immunity. Booster shots may also be developed to combat new variants of a virus, which is why flu shots are given annually.
Currently, studies indicate that booster shots are not yet necessary, although pharmaceutical companies are still beginning the FDA authorization process to be ready once the need becomes apparent. Booster shots are also being studied to see if they increase the immunity of people with health conditions that reduce the efficacy of the vaccine, like those who have received organ transplants.
The legal liability challenges for businesses during Covid-19
It will take years for legal precedent regarding Covid-19 to be solidified. California, like many other states and localities, has passed a bill protecting businesses from civil liability claims. However, take note – these protections only apply to Fresnan businesses that substantially comply with all laws, regulations, and safety practices.
While these protections may mean your business is protected from getting a judgment in court, they don’t protect you entirely from having to deal with lawsuits. Even if you are in compliance with all regulations, someone could still sue you and require you to provide evidence of that in court. This is where going above and beyond the minimum requirements for your workplace Covid-19 Safety Plan can offer protections beyond the virus.
A business that advertises its use of extra safety measures, such as regularly testing employees for Covid-19, is less likely to be targeted for frivolous liability lawsuits. Even if a person approaches an attorney with intent to file such a suit against you, the attorney is unlikely to advise them to move forward without specific proof that you were intentionally lax in your safety practices.
Onsite Covid-19 Testing – A Powerful Tool In The New Normal
The easiest way to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak in your workplace is to stop the virus at the door. Regularly testing employees helps keep both staff and patrons safe from Covid-19 and its variants.
Beyond preventing an outbreak, testing can also increase confidence in your business from both an employee and customer standpoint. Keeping employees safer helps improve morale and trust that you prioritize them, which is incredibly important during a time in which workers have so much leverage. It also makes customers and clients feel good giving money to a business that prioritizes health. Taking extra precautions may also lure out customers who don’t benefit from immunity and would otherwise be scared to venture out.
If you’re in need of Fresno corporate Covid testing, consider using a mobile Covid-19 testing service. These services will send a nurse to your worksite to administer tests to all of your employees. They can help with the required forms and disclosures, provide all testing materials, and can give further advice if someone tests positive.