How the Covid-19omicron variant affects office return plans

As scientists learn more about the Covid-19 Omicron variant and its arrival in the United States on Wednesday, business leaders struggle to understand how it affects the workplace, including plans to return to the office. doing. Just as the Delta variant helped Labor Day 2021 reopen its office, the Omicron variant could further delay their plans until 2022.

As a review, within the weeks of July, some of the most influential tech companies have postponed their return dates from September to October, while others have timed, in response to the spread of the Delta variant. The line has been postponed to 2022. I’ve adjusted their resumption countless times.

Employees, on the other hand, were more empowered during a major resignation and pushed back the idea of ​​returning face-to-face during a pandemic.

As the New Year approaches, Omicron emerges and the reopening of the office resurfaces in the air.

Fortunately, the United States is already responding more quickly to variants of Omicron by learning in the face of the summer delta surge, said Dr. Denis Nash, a professor of epidemiology at CUNY School of Public Health. I am saying.

This week, the CDC has strengthened its Covid vaccine booster recommendations, stating that all eligible adults need to take additional doses.

In addition, many of the enhanced workplace safety rules developed for delta waves, such as vaccination requirements and regular inspections, are still in place today, said David Levy, CEO of preventive medicine company EHE. The doctor says.

“We are dealing with rapidly changing facts and conditions.”

There is still much unknown about Omicron as researchers are studying its infectivity, severity, and whether vaccination can tolerate the mutant. Scientists say it’s been a few weeks from a clearer understanding of how the new strain will affect vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Dr. Neal Mills, chief medical officer at professional services company Aon, said companies could remain in a difficult position to reopen plans and change workplace health and safety policies until they learn more about variants in the coming weeks. Is high.

Companies may postpone the reopening date if scientists find that the vaccine is not very effective in preventing the serious illness caused by Omicron. However, Nash said, “I can imagine a scenario in which the vaccine will continue to prevent serious illness and death in this variant in the coming weeks without delaying the timeline.”

He states that businesses need to remain flexible. For example, if you don’t need it, or if your concerns persist in the coming months, you should not require work in the field. In particular, the World Health Organization states that delta variants are still widely distributed and are responsible for most infectious diseases around the world.

No matter what happens, leaders need to inform employees that they understand that uncertainty can cause anxiety, and be up-to-date before officially announcing a new Covid safety plan. Nash says he is always taking steps to keep track of it.

Whether workers are on the scene for months or new people come back for the first time in a while, it’s a good time to repeat the steps companies are taking to improve workplace safety and wellness.

Companies also need to articulate contact tracing or quarantine protocols if someone turns positive in the workplace. The workplace may also consider setting the necessary travel restrictions in areas with high transmission speeds.

Levy encourages employees not to be discouraged if their leadership message changes in the coming weeks. “People need to understand that facts change in this business. It doesn’t mean that messengers lack integrity, but we move fast with facts and conditions.”

check out:

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Covid’s Omicron variant poses a “very high” risk — here’s what you need to know now

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How the Covid-19omicron variant affects office return plans

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