COVID-19: Let’s Virtually Join Hands to Flatten the Curve

COMMENTARY
March 24, 2020
Senior Vice President, CVS Health and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark

COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges. As your partners in healthcare, we understand that these are difficult times and we are here to help. We are actively monitoring the current environment for COVID-19 related risks and continue to implement plans and processes to ensure that our teams are available to support and meet your needs, while ensuring our employees stay safe and healthy.

Like us, you are likely making complex decisions to keep your workforce and community safe, while moving your business forward. It’s time for all of us to step up our efforts to change the trajectory of the disease.

While so much about the pandemic might seem outside our control, let’s focus on what we can control. Businesses and organizations like ours can take the lead in doing what epidemiologists and public health officials call flattening the curve of the pandemic. The idea is to slow the spread of the disease by decreasing the opportunities of transmission among our business partners, employees and customers.

Visit the Caremark Member Resource Center on info.caremark.com/COVID19: We know members have questions. We're here for them.

Visit the Caremark Member Resource Center on info.caremark.com/COVID19: We know members have questions. We're here for them.

Here are some simple measures we can deploy to protect employees, customers, business partners, and the public:

  • Maximize employees’ ability to work remotely by setting up VPNs and providing tools like videoconferencing.
  • Promote social distancing for employees who can’t work remotely by encouraging them to sit or stand at last six feet away from each other and discourage hugging or shaking hands.
  • Restrict business travel as much as possible and make sure that travel policies clearly state what is allowed, what’s not and what needs authorization. 
  • Cancel or postpone events globally or take them online. 
  • Train supervisors and managers about implications of COVID-19 and the process of notifying authorities about any suspected exposure. 
  • Promote good hygiene practices, such as washing hands with soap and water. Also, step up cleaning protocols and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as workstations and doorknobs.
  • Set up response teams to enable quick decision-making needed to safeguard people and core operations.
  • Communicate clearly, transparently and frequently to set expectations and minimize misinformation. Constantly reframe your understanding of what’s happening and be honest about what you know and what you don’t know.
  • Understand and respond to customers’ new needs and offer services such as free home delivery to encourage people to stay at home.
  • Be prepared to help your partners, industry, community and government agencies in crisis.

Flattening the curve may not reduce the number of people who get infected with COVID-19, but it can certainly decrease the number of people getting sick at the same time. This is critical to saving lives because too many cases at the same time can overwhelm doctors, hospitals, emergency rooms and the entire health care system.

Let’s do this – we can change the trajectory of the disease and save lives together.

Do you want to learn more about our preparedness for COVID‑19? Ask Us
COMMENTARY
March 24, 2020
Senior Vice President, CVS Health and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark