It's been five months since COVID-19 began its full-scale rampage in the United States. Here in California, more than 710,000 people have been confirmed as infected, the highest number in the United States. Since the population of California is about 40 million, if the number continues to grow at its present pace, 1 out of every 50 people in the state will soon be infected. Literally, we have come to live with the COVID-19.
On August 23, sudden case of COVID-19 positive in one of our employees was reported. Immediate after, all the employees were ordered to get PCR testing done, and fortunately all of them tested negative.
In the beginning, there were some concerns over our publicizing the COVID-19 positive result in our blog however we came to the conclusion that we should take part in our corporate mission to address the workplace environment in general, and our experience could benefit our customers who may be undergoing the COVID-19 case in their workplace.
In addition, we would like to mention that the employee who tested positive was not living a high-risk lifestyle at all. So we hope sharing our story could once again alarm us to take any possible measurements to protect our health as the COVID-19 is steadily approaching even nearer.
Please understand that our intention is not to instill the fear of COVID-19 approaching near you. Lately even in Japan, we have heard news about discrimination and slander caused by COVID-19. Unfortunately, these acts are done out of fear of the invisible virus. Upon confirming the positive test result, we reported the incident to our customers and business partners with whom our employees had direct contact with, but we got some unfortunate reactions as well. We totally understand their position, and we are not interested in judging how each of us take and handle the COVID-19 issue. However, this incident certainly has given us, each one of Daizu employees, time to reflect that anyone can be infected, and become a target of such fear.
Here's chronological order of what has happened so far:
- On Saturday, Aug. 22, thought one of our employees had no symptoms took a PCR test before an important meeting with elderly person.
- On Sunday, Aug. 23, when the test came back positive, all employees were immediately instructed to take a PCR test. We were able to schedule an appointment for the test through this website and was able to get it done the same day https://la.fulgentgenetics.com/appointment/screen/symptoms
- On Monday, Aug. 24, we reported the incident to our office building and Local Health Department.
- On the same day, (8/24) the office was disinfected with Deep Cleaning by Coco Service, which we have previously discussed in our blog.
*Pictures taken at our office performing Deep Cleaning.
We have also reported on clients with whom we are currently doing business, as well as clients with whom our employees have had face-to-face appointments in the past week or two. Fortunately, the employee who tested positive was not on a routine visit to the client and there was no secondary infection among rest of the employees.
Though the rest of employees are all tested negative, we decided to remain in quarantine for the full 14 days to be sure. So currently only 1 employee is working from office, and the rest of us are working from home. We are not taking any in-person appointments as well.
Because we fall into an essential business category, we have long limited our office attendance to two people at a time. Also, we have samples of all kinds of desk shields in the office, which we may have prevented the further spread. As I have mentioned in past blogs, we are constantly spraying our office with Eucalyptus blend aroma on a timer. Research has shown that Eucalyptus also has antibacterial properties, so although its effect on COVID-19 virus has not yet been proven, we are hopeful that it would have some effect.
- We will continue to ensure that masks or face shields are worn in the office.
- Limited to two people in the office each day (staff who wish to work in the office for work efficiency reasons plus one person who takes turns every day)
- Six-foot social distancing enforced
- Thoroughly cleaned (copy machines and kitchen area are disinfected with alcohol after each use)
- No sharing of office supplies, etc
- Body temperature is measured before entering the room
- If felt tired or feel sick, stay home
- Employees who are considered immunocompromised or unsure of their condition will continue to work from home
These control measures largely depend on the size of the company as it may determine how many people are able to enter the room as well as on the business structure. We would be extremely grateful if it would be a good opportunity to review the COVID-19 countermeasures that are appropriate for each company.
We would like to share the useful handbook, COVID-19 Employer Playbook: Supporting a safer environment for Workers and Customers:
We will continue sharing any subsequent COVID-19 information if any in the future. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. It would also be great if you could give us your comments, opinions and advice on COVID-19 control measures.
The number of infected cases is still increasing, so please be careful & stay healthy!