Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak: Now is the time to refresh pandemic plans

Lisa M Koonin
Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning 2020 January 1, 13 (4): 1-15
This article outlines practical steps that businesses can take now to prepare for a pandemic. Given the current growing spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) around the world, it is imperative that businesses review their pandemic plans and be prepared in case this epidemic expands and affects more people and communities. Preparing for a potential infectious disease pandemic from influenza or a novel corona virus is an essential component of a business continuity plan, especially for businesses that provide critical healthcare and infrastructure services. Although many businesses and organisations have a pandemic plan or address pandemic preparedness in their business continuity plans, few have recently tested and updated their plans. Pandemics can not only interrupt an organisation's operations and compromise long-term viability of an enterprise, but also disrupt the provision of critical functions. Businesses that regularly test and update their pandemic plan can significantly reduce harmful impacts to the business, play a key role in protecting employees' and customers' health and safety, and limit the negative impact of a pandemic on the community and economy.

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