Coronavirus: Your Business and People Risks

April 2, 2020

Crisis Management

Woodruff Sawyer has implemented our Work From Home policy in all of our US offices effective March 13th. Learn more >

Last Updated April 2, 2020:  Added blog posts, “Coronavirus Impact on Cyber Insurance,” “Compliance Alert: Congress Passes the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act),”  “Re-Opening a Business after COVID-19,” and “Coronavirus Benefits Webinar FAQs.”

The coronavirus, or “COVID-19,” continues to evolve quickly, impacting nearly every aspect of business from supply chains to investor questions to employee health concerns. Woodruff Sawyer has established this Coronavirus Resource Center to provide guidance and answer your pressing questions, such as how to prepare or respond to the associated business risks, and whether insurance coverage may respond.

Special Edition Coronavirus Webinars


Coronavirus: Insurance Perspectives on Your Business Risks

In this live webinar we hosted on March 12, our experts weighed in on how your property & casualty, cyber liability, and management liability policies may respond to coronavirus claims.


Coronavirus: Supporting Your Employees, Their Benefits, and a Legal Perspective

On March 19, we hosted this live webinar where Woodruff Sawyer Employee Benefits experts alongside Snell & Wilmer’s Employment Law Partner, Tiffanny Brosnan, covered topics like remote work, legal concerns, extending PTO and sick leave, and the impact on life insurance coverage, claims, and employee anxiety and overall well-being.


Coronavirus: Impact on Your Retirement Plans as a Plan Sponsor

On March 26, Woodruff Sawyer’s Retirement Team, alongside Goldman Sachs’ retirement specialists, provided information and updates on how the Coronavirus is impacting retirement plans and defined contributions. Topics included the potential economic relief that could impact 401k plans, what record keepers are saying, and what both plan sponsors and plan participants should be thinking about today.


Keys to Prevailing through Stock Market Declines

In this March 24th webinar, the Woodruff Sawyer Retirement Plans Team, along with advisors at Franklin Templeton Investments, provided information about the current market and gave perspective based on patterns seen in previous market cycles and downturns. The advice they give helps you avoid common pitfalls and stay on track towards achieving your financial goals.

Risk and Insurance Information on Coronavirus

COVID-19 has many employers asking questions about what actions to take now to help protect their employees and their business interests. The following resources help you ask the right questions, and provide you with the answers and solutions according to current developments and projections.

If you are a Woodruff Sawyer client and have specific questions related to your risks and coverage, reach out to your account team.

Health, Benefits, and Retirement Information & Resources

Toolkit for Supporting Employees

Working From Home During a Coronavirus Outbreak

What is Ergonomics?

Mental Well-being During Quarantine

Easing Employee Stress Surrounding the Coronavirus Pandemic

A Guide to Market Fluctuations

General Information and Updates on Coronavirus

The CDC and World Health Organization are continually providing best practices and updates on the status of coronavirus. Keep in mind that your local Health Department has the authority to control all epidemiological response, including quarantines or other actions that may affect your business. If you have an employee who has been exposed and or tests positive at some point, you may need to contact them for guidance especially if a healthcare provider has not done so yet. The local health department also has the latest local information to help you determine when you may wish to take additional action as an employer.

These are good sources to help you plan and ensure your workplace is protected according to the latest updates.

Main CDC and WHO Coronavirus Sites



Daily Reports and Case Counts
(case counts updated Mon-Fri)

WHO Daily Situation Reports

CDC US Case Count and Map

CDC World Case Map

Travel Warnings and AlertsCDC Travel Notices
Personal Prevention Methods

CDC: Prevention and Treatment

WHO: Advice for Public

OSHA Information on Coronavirus

Federal OSHA Information

California OSHA Information

Health Department Directories

State-Level Health Departments

Local Health Departments

State Employment Leave, Disability and Unemployment Benefits
(list based on Woodruff Sawyer regional locations)






Business/Employer Prevention and Planning Resources

In addition to added prevention items for business settings, the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers page contains a section on considerations when developing an infectious disease outbreak response plan.

Advice for Employers

(excerpt from our blog post, Coronavirus in the Workplace):

  • Know your enemy. How does this virus spread? What are the best methods to prevent transmission? Visit the CDC, your local health department, and WHO websites to stay on top of these topics. More information comes out every day. The CDC and WHO are releasing audio updates, website updates, and additional tools frequently as they learn more and more about the way this virus behaves.
  • Make decisions and plans now. Do not wait. What will cause you to shut down your business and who will make the decision? What might cause you to enact a work from home mandate? When will you decide that all employees must not travel? What action items must occur and what resources must be available to accomplish the afore-mentioned items?
  • Consider alternatives to in-person events. Depending on your local situation and where your visitors generally travel from, consider conducting only essential face to face meetings and limiting or eliminating situations where your employees are attending large gatherings.
  • Look at your OSHA recordkeeping. OSHA has issued guidance on recordkeeping that makes this virus subject to OSHA log record keeping in ways that the common cold or the seasonal flu is not. If an employee is exposed while performing their work duties and subsequently becomes ill, the case is recordable.
  • Involve HR and HR counsel. Do this when making decisions about private information and attendance policies.

Pandemic Planning

We’ve included a downloadable and editable Guide to Creating a Business Continuity Plan for Pandemics, which includes templates, as well as a sample pandemic plan. Keep in mind that these plans should tie closely with your current business continuity plan.

Guide to Creating Pandemic BCP

Sample Corporate Pandemic Plan

This page will continually to be updated, so please check back regularly.

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All views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the position of Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.