Responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS
We are all Texans.
We all have a responsibility.
We are all in this together.
Recent events and concerns over the Coronavirus have inundated our newsfeeds, social media and many conversations here in the office. The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce wishes to share some of the recent developments and updates regarding the Coronavirus outbreak with our membership. Below you will find resources and suggestions on actions you may take as an employee, employer and traveler.
In recent weeks the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has received much media coverage. We cannot predict how this disease will progress, however, we do know the number of people in the region have quarantined or are monitoring a number of people.
Without the advantage of a crystal ball, it is prudent for all of us to become knowledgeable of this disease and the reasonable precautions we can all take for the safety of our employees and clients.
Working with our partners at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), the US Chamber of Commerce, and others we have pulled together the following resources below. In addition, we have set up a Coronavirus resource page on the Chamber website.
Further, we have created a Facebook Chamber Member Group for our members. We had intended on rolling out the Facebook Chamber Member Group in the next couple of months but are sharing this resource now as a way for our members to stay connected during this challenging time as well as share out information on support or assistance between members. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/houstonlgbtchamber to request access. We will be adding members as well over the next couple of days.
Please check our resource page and the links below to help educate employers on the Coronavirus and for more/new information as it becomes available.
You can see our most recent email regarding the Coronavirus via https://conta.cc/3cTiPQa.
PLEASE rely on the official, trusted sources for information and not second-hand knowledge. Rumors and bad information spread faster than any disease out there, which only causes distress.
Take care of yourself
- Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick. Talk to your employer about working from home if necessary.
- Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
Practice basic hygiene. Stay home if you are not feeling well. Whether you have a flu, a cold, or something else, limit your interactions to others.
If you have been exposed to a confirmed infected person, but do not have symptoms (known exposure, but are asymptomatic): Self-quarantine and monitor your symptoms for 2-14 days. Stay home unless you need medical care. Call beforehand, make a plan.
If you have been exposed and are feeling unwell (known exposure and symptomatic): Self-Isolate and monitor your symptoms for 2-14 days. If symptoms are mild, stay home. If symptoms worsen, reach out to your primary care physician to coordinate care. Wait at least 10 days before ending self-isolation.
These are stressful times and everyone reacts differently. Be sure that you are taking care of yourself and practicing self-care. We'll be announcing a webinar to support Chamber members so keep an eye out. Also check-in on your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Now is a great time to pick up the phone and reconnect with someone. And disconnect every once and a while.The constant barrage of news and social media can take a toll. Go for a walk. Meditate. Do yoga. This is causing all of us to hit the PAUSE button – take a moment to breathe.
Help the local community
The biggest way we can all help is to “flatten the curve” which means to have a community mitigation response (aka “social distancing”). Our goal as a community is to reduce the exponential growth which will result in a longer duration (i.e. this will last longer), but with less simultaneous cases putting our health care system in a better position to handle this.
Measures such as the restrictions on large group gatherings, six feet of distance and overall social distancing are in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19. While this may seem like an overreaction to some, think of it this way – what is the downside of taking a proactive approach by practicing social distancing? And does that downside outweigh the alternative worst case scenario?
Along those lines, we need to consider the priority of care. 80% of the cases of COVID-19 are mild. The local public health departments are focused on the remaining 20%, particularly those who are considered high-risk adults to ensure that they are getting the care they need.
Beyond that? Let’s all support each other.
Help local businesses
Do what you can to help your local businesses and organizations. This can range from buying gift cards from local restaurants so that we can keep revenue coming in for businesses. This could mean ordering takeout and tipping well. This could mean extra philanthropy to the non-profits who are on the front lines. Do what you can safely while in this odd holding pattern.
Be nice. These are trying times, we are all on edge and we are all trying our best.
Be ready to support your local businesses in the weeks and months to come. In 2013, following the Boston Marathon bombing and the closure of Boylston Street (a major commercial hub in Boston), locals and visitors came out in force to support the businesses who were impacted by the tragedy: Boylston Street Businesses Get Patrons, Loan Offer In Boston via NPR. We need to be prepared to do the same.
We are here to support our members! #WeAreAllInThisTOGETHER
Co-Founder & Board Chair
See the full update here.