Skip to main content

Keeping workplaces safe during COVID-19 and flu season

November 10, 2021 | Community

James Margiotta, Senior Vice President, Return Ready, CVS Health

Every day, I speak with business leaders across the country about the challenge of maintaining a safe and healthy workplace amid an ongoing pandemic. Among those challenges is a simple fact – just when you think you’ve adapted to a new normal, it’s already changed. From variants to vaccines, every new development comes with new questions and concerns. That’s why we started Return Ready, because we know businesses need a partner that can help them navigate this unique health moment.

In addition to the ongoing changes and challenges of the COVID-19 landscape is the plain truth that the pandemic is not the only health concern in the workplace. More familiar concerns such as seasonal flu can further complicate our prevention and protection strategies, especially as there are many shared symptoms between flu and COVID-19.

There was a significant decline in flu cases in 2020, largely due to COVID-19 precautions such as masking, social distancing and the large number of people working and attending school remotely. But this year, with more kids in school, more people returning to the workplace and many of those precautionary measures no longer in place, flu may be a larger concern in 2021.

A headshot of James Margiotta, Senior Vice President, Return Ready, CVS Health.

For businesses that want to ensure their workforce is safe and secure, and that business is not interrupted by either COVID-19 or a flu outbreak, there are a few steps they can take today. First consider how to make vaccines – both for the flu and for COVID-19 – readily available and accessible, and second, work to ensure your business has the right testing plan and infrastructure to identify positive cases early.

I recently shared more detailed thoughts on what businesses can be doing to navigate this uniquely challenging moment in HR Daily Advisor, including focusing on clear communications and being a go-to resource for employee health information and services, including vaccines and testing.

We know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to meeting this moment – every organization has its own challenges and priorities - so we’re actively working closely with businesses, schools and other organizations to ensure they have the right programs, policies and resources in place to support their communities.