COVID Management in the Workplace

Five lessons on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace that facility managers can learn from production studios.

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By Cindy Salas Murphy

Facility management executives have faced unprecedented challenges in workplace environments over the past two years, with organizations being forced to pivot and adapt to ever-changing circumstances as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

It’s been an extremely stressful time as leadership deals with all of the moving pieces in this complex scenario. There have been innumerable obstacles, from the death of loved ones to massive workforce shortages to healthcare inequities — and the costs of COVID continue to climb.

COVID testing
(Photo: AdobeStock

Despite these difficulties, there are ways to empower businesses to help fight this historic battle for health and wellness and create a space where all workers feel safe, respected, and supported. By now, everyone knows about social distancing, masks, hand-washing and vaccinations, but many other workplace strategies can be implemented to help drastically reduce the spread of the virus. These additional policies and tools can be employed by any company to maximize safety and minimize the risk of COVID outbreaks.

Some of the strategies that have been proven effective in keeping workplaces safe include: conducting daily assessments, validating vaccination status, providing paid time off for receiving vaccination and boosters, mandating that all employees and visitors wear masks, and establishing weekly (or more frequent) testing.

Interestingly, movie and television production studios have found ways to reduce COVID transmission and keep their operations running. This industry is the gold standard when it comes to ensuring safety on the set. WithHealth has helped numerous studios to implement a set of science-based, practical policies that ensure transmission is drastically reduced on sets.

Here’s a look at five lessons that facility managers can learn from the policies of production studios:

  1. Test, test, and test again. Testing frequently (regardless of vaccination status) is key in order to ensure the virus doesn’t spread. Employees who enter the facility at least once a week should be regularly tested, and those who have been away from the workplace for a week or longer should be tested within seven days of returning to work.Efficient testing centers can turn around test results within three-and-a-half hours, sometimes even more quickly. Vaccinations are a crucial tool and will help keep people from getting extremely sick and being admitted to hospitals, but frequent testing is the most effective way to actually prevent the spread of COVID. If an employee tests positive, contact tracing is a key tool for identifying the type, extent and duration of contact they may have had with others. Then, keep the employee out of the workplace until they meet the criteria for returning to work.
  2. Set up a dedicated room for the purpose of testing/swabbing. In most organizations, these are typically conference rooms or other areas that aren’t heavily used. It’s key to make sure there’s an appropriate distance between swabbing stations and that there are protective shields that enclose each individual. Each station should be thoroughly sanitized with EPA-approved disinfectants between tests. Areas in these rooms should also be frequently cleaned with electrostatic sprayers, particularly high contact areas like doorknobs, light switches and elevator buttons.
  3. One size does not fit all, so adopt a bubble approach. To further minimize the spread of COVID, it’s important to not view the workforce as one single group. Rather, a safer approach is to identify specific teams of employees and create interaction bubbles. For example, Bubble A would consist of a group that works in close quarters and therefore requires more frequent testing. In a production studio, Bubble A would include individuals at highest risk for being exposed such as makeup artists who deal with unmasked talent and actors who film without masks, among others. Bubble A would be tested three times per week. Bubble B would be a group facing lesser risk and therefore testing less frequently, then Bubble C and so on. An entirely closed bubble is the most secure scenario, when all staff moves into one location and no one can leave for the duration of production — that includes ALL members of staff, talent and crew. The “Go-Big Show” was one production WithHealth managed that operated within a bubble, as well as the film “Red Notice.”
  4. Create a workplace safety protocol that guides all decisions. This protocol should outline on-site behavior and explore all possible COVID-related scenarios so the organization can be prepared for anything that might arise. Some questions to consider when creating these guidelines include:
    • Must I require COVID vaccinations for my employees?
    • What are my options for confirming vaccination status?
    • How should I handle vaccine exemption requests?
    • If I don’t require vaccines, how will I manage testing?
    • Should I require COVID testing for all of my employees?
    • What is the testing cadence?
    • How are we going to monitor daily the symptoms of every person that walks through the environment?
    • What is the walking path for a person to come through?
    • How do they enter?
    • Where are the hand sanitizers located?
    • Should I require my employees and customers to wear masks?
    • Who is unmasked and when?
    • Which masks are to be worn?
    • What is the duration of someone being unmasked?
    • Are face shields necessary in some circumstances?
    • Who goes in which bubble?

5. Have a testing staff that can work quickly and ideally overnight. Working overnight allows the tests to be processed rapidly so any infected persons can be removed from the premises ASAP. WithHealth teams have often worked overnight in order to ensure fast results. An individual can get tested in the evening and, by the next morning, they’re notified whether they’re positive – which alone has prevented countless outbreaks.

WithHealth Medical Group publishes whitepaper Strengthening Workplace Safety

What employers must do, can do, and should do to protect their workforce and their customers from COVID-19

SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / January 11, 2022 / WithHealth, Inc. (the “Company”), a digital precision care telehealth company for employers and their employees, is pleased to publish its whitepaper on strengthening workplace safety, highlighting what employers must do, can do, and should do to protect their workforce and their customers from COVID-19.

Employers must understand all of the requirements of the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).

Employers can adopt a culture of safety, including daily assessments, face coverings, routine environmental cleaning services, routine testing and positive test notification processes.

To review the whitepaper in its entirety, please visit: https://withhealth.com/employer-workplace-safety/

WithHealth Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cindy Salas Murphy, stated:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has given us an opportunity to reexamine how we enable workplace safety for our employees and our customers. These opportunities have come at great cost. We have experienced illness, lost loved ones, suffered economic hardship, highlighted inequities in healthcare, and are living through a tremendous workforce shortage. However, it is my calling to ensure the losses we have experienced are not in vain. We must learn from this experience and create a workplace for tomorrow that is safer than ever. Together, we can commit to creating a workplace that is prepared to prevent illness, address inequities, and ensure that employees feel supported and respected through challenging times.

Public health officials are encouraging us as business leaders to help increase the number of vaccinated Americans, as seen from the newly issued OSHA-ETS. Additionally, new research suggests that Americans trust their employers more than they trust government leaders, community leaders, and even religious leaders. This is why it is important for business leaders to share trusted information from the CDC, FDA and other public health experts in an effort to support our employees to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.

Today, we have greater understanding of how we can protect ourselves, our workforce, and our communities. The emergence of the Omicron variant is another clear signal that we must take additional measures to prevent further infections. Americans will need to be encouraged to receive booster shots and we should continue our diligence in ensuring precautions are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.

We have a growing amount of experience from working with employers who have implemented workplace testing, effective employee communication and engagement strategies, and successful vaccine management. These employers have been able to slow the spread of the virus and avert loss of lives. It is with the combination of proper testing, daily assessments, effective mask wearing by both employees and customers, and vaccine management that these successes have been sustained. We have prepared this document for the purpose of helping employers easily identify what we must do, what we can do, and what we should do to help businesses succeed through these times. We hope that you find this helpful and know that the WithHealth team is here to be of service to you and your teams.”

About WithHealth, Inc.

WithHealth, Inc. was founded in 2017 to deliver on the promise of precision care by transforming the healthcare experience to improve employee health and employer outcomes. WithHealth ®, a digital precision care telehealth company, makes genetic-based care affordable, proactive, accessible and preventative by utilizing genomics, digital twin technology, augmented intelligence, and care coordination to provide a 360-degree individualized health profile.

For more information about WithHealth, Inc., please visit https://www.withhealth.com.

Inspirational Women in STEM and Tech: Cindy Salas Murphy of ‘WithHealth’ on The 5 Leadership Lessons She Learned From Her Experience

 

 

End your days with favorite moments: In our field, not every day will yield the results you expect. However, every day we have a moment that brings us joy or peace. Celebrate that moment by recalling it before you go to bed and share it with someone you love.

  1. Your thoughts create your reality, so be careful of what you think: Quantum physics has taught us that everything in the universe is made up of energy and generates a certain energy signature. The energy we emit can and does alter your environment
  2. Your best teachers are your customers: We must consider the perspective of our clients/customers when building solutions. They trust that we will couple our knowledge and passion with execution for their benefit. That unspoken contract places the responsibility on us to assess, design, and implement solutions that are important to them. Using the scientific method, we have the tools available to properly hypothesize and assess the best possible product or service for our clients/customers.
  3. End your days with favorite moments: In our field, not every day will yield the results you expect. However, every day we have a moment that brings us joy or peace. Celebrate that moment by recalling it before you go to bed and share it with someone you love.
  4. Nunc Coepi — leave the past behind and begin again: We can’t live in the past and expect to enjoy the future. Not only is living in the moment integral to creating new technology or incorporating new scientific findings, we must leave the past behind in order to release biases that may prevent us from discovering new paths or ways of doing things.

Dr. Ijeoma Azonobi Joins the WithHealth Medical Group

Dr. Ijeoma Azonobi Joins the WithHealth Medical Group

The digital precision care telehealth company continues to grow, adding to the WithHealth Medical Group further expanding genetic-based care

SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 9, 2021 / WithHealth, Inc. (the “Company”), a digital precision care telehealth company for employers and their employees, is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Ijeoma Azonobi to the WithHealth Medical Group. WithHealth’s growth over the past few months has been significant, and with the impending launch of the WithHealth Precision Care Program, the company is expanding its physician roster.

WithHealth’s precision telehealth solution provides flexibility in an easy-to-use platform benefiting both physicians and patients. The Precision Care Program initially launches in California, Florida, Georgia and New York, and will ultimately become a nationwide offering. WithHealth’s Workplace Safety, Sports Safety, Production Safety, Vaccine Management, and Tribal Health offerings also continue to expand the company’s client base.

In light of this exceptional growth and expansion, the company is welcoming Dr. Azonobi to its medical team. Originally from Philadelphia, now Atlanta based, she attended Morehouse School of Medicine and graduated in 2005 with magna cum laude honors. Dr. Azonobi trained for 3 years on Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University Medical Center and then simultaneously completed a residency training program in Preventive Medicine and Public Health and a Master of Public Health.

Chief Executive Officer, Cindy Salas Murphy, stated, “We are thrilled with our recent success in growing our physician roster as we continue to build out our telehealth network. Dr. Azonobi is a perfect fit, and we are lucky to have her as part of our WithHealth Medical Group. Her work at the intersection of women’s health and health prevention and maintenance is directly aligned with the WithHealth mission, and I look forward to the excellent patient care and outcomes that Dr. Azonobi will achieve with our team.”

AboutWithHealth,Inc.

WithHealth, Inc. was founded in 2017 to deliver on the promise of precision care by dramatically changing the healthcare experience to improve employee health and employer outcomes. WithHealth ®, a digital precision care telehealth company, makes genetic-based care affordable, proactive, accessible and preventative by utilizing genomics, digital twin technology, augmented intelligence, and care coordination to provide a 360-degree individualized health profile.

For more information about WithHealth, Inc., please visit https://www.withhealth.com.

Dr. Joanne Wu Named President of the WithHealth Medical Group

Dr. Joanne Wu Named President of the WithHealth Medical Group

Dr. Wu brings expertise and passion to her roles as both physician and Executive at WithHealth to provide digital precision care and genetic-based care

SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 7, 2021 / WithHealth, Inc. (the “Company”), a digital precision care telehealth company for employers and their employees, is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Joanne Wu to the WithHealth Medical Group as both a physician and President. WithHealth’s growth over the past few months has been significant, and with the impending launch of the WithHealth Precision Care program, the company is expanding its network of board-certified physicians.

WithHealth’s Precision Care enables physicians to consider how telehealth combined with digital precision and genetic-based care can improve access to care, personalization, and affordability by utilizing genomics, digital twin technology, augmented intelligence, and care coordination to provide a 360-degree individualized health profile for patients. WithHealth’s Workplace Safety, Sports Safety, Production Safety, Vaccine Management, and Tribal Health offerings also continue to expand the company’s client base.

In light of this exceptional growth and expansion, the company is welcoming Dr. Wu, a board-certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Integrative & Holistic Medicine MD who specializes in non-surgical spine, musculoskeletal injuries, and functional pain. A graduate of The University of Rochester where she received her BA in Biomedical Engineering – Mechanical Engineering, as well as her MD, Dr. Wu served as a University physician and later as its PMR Residency Chief Resident. She is certified in Medical Acupuncture through Harvard Medical School and received her MBA from Capella University. She also holds certificates in Health Coaching & Nutrition Counseling (Institute of Integrative Nutrition), Worksite Wellness Management & Leadership (Chapman Institute), and Diversity & Inclusion (Cornell University). She has extensive experience in digital health, occupational medicine, and corporate wellness. Dr. Wu is passionate about mindful health coaching, corporate health delivery programs, preventative health initiatives, and mind/body empowerment.

In her new role as WithHealth’s Medical Group President, Dr. Wu will manage all WithHealth physicians in Direct Primary Care, Urgent Care, and Specialty Care. In addition, she will oversee patient care and actively serve as a physician at WithHealth, offering proactive and preventative care to patients and their families.

Chief Executive Officer, Cindy Salas Murphy, stated, “We are thrilled with our recent success in growing our physician roster as we continue to build out our Precision Care offering. Dr. Wu brings so much varied and valuable experience to her leadership and patient responsibilities here at WithHealth. She is an innovative, passionate and results-focused medical leader with a proven track record and success in clinical, academic, and entrepreneurial settings. Her goals as a physician and leader are perfectly aligned with the WithHealth mission.”

AboutWithHealth,Inc.

WithHealth, Inc. was founded in 2017 to deliver on the promise of precision care by dramatically changing the healthcare experience to improve employee health and employer outcomes. WithHealth ®, a digital precision care telehealth company, makes genetic-based care affordable, proactive, accessible and preventative by utilizing genomics, digital twin technology, augmented intelligence, and care coordination to provide a 360-degree individualized health profile.

For more information about WithHealth, Inc., please visit https://www.withhealth.com.

Transforming Healthcare, Destigmatizing Mental Health, & Eliminating Health Disparities, with Cindy Salas Murphy

Cindy Salas Murphy is the founder and CEO of WithHealth, a San Diego-based company that combines precision health with telemedicine to make access to specialty physicians affordable and immediate.

 

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WithHealth CEO Cindy Salas Murphy named a finalist for The San Diego Business Journal’s Business Woman of the year

“I founded WithHealth, Inc. in 2017 to fill a void of affordable, proactive, accessible, and convenient health care. We deliver on the promise of precision care by dramatically changing the healthcare experience to improve employee health and employer outcomes, and by making DNA actionable. I want to thank every single WithHealth employee and the WithHealth Medical Group for making this vision a reality, and San Diego Business Journal for this honor.”

-Cindy Salas Murphy
Chief Executive Officer

 

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Copy+of+LinkedInWithHealth-WeekofMay3

WithHealth® and Phosphorus Announce Partnership to Provide Holistic, Preventative Genetic Insights to Employers and Employees

“WithHealth is extremely excited to offer GeneCompass to our employers and their employees,” said @Cindy Salas Murphy, @WithHealth Founder and CEO. “The GeneCompass platform from @Phosphorus not only provides the most holistic view of health and wellness, but it does so with a reporting platform that makes the data understandable to physicians and their patients.”

Learn more about this exciting partnership