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COVID-19 Updates: Helping employers navigate workplace challenges

As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, employers should continue to adapt their approach to ensure they effectively manage the impact on their employees and business. Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz provides weekly updates on the latest COVID-19 developments, with a focus on the implications for employers and guidance on how they can tackle pandemic-related challenges to keep their workplaces safe.



  1. There’s room for improvement in diabetes and blood pressure care in employer sponsored health plans

    August 3, 2022

    This week’s roundup looks at a recent data on the quality of care provided by employer sponsored health plans for those with chronic diseases, and the latest on polio, monkeypox and COVID-19.


  2. National rollout of 988 for mental health emergencies begins

    July 27, 2022

    A new mental health hotline, a report on medical errors, an update on hospital mergers and the latest on COVID-19 in this week’s roundup.


  3. Healthcare costs decreased, but prices rose during pandemic

    July 19, 2022

    The Health Care Cost Institute published its annual report on health insurance; the National Center for Health Statistics reported an increase in Cesarean section, and more healthcare news.


  4. The possible impact of long COVID on the workforce

    July 7, 2022

    Long COVID is now a well-recognized medical condition and you should make efforts to be open to this diagnosis and prepare your managers to respond to employees with this condition.

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  5. Employer-provided sick leave and job flexibility increase healthcare access and use

    June 29, 2022

    Providing employees paid time off for illness can decrease workplace spread of infection and boost recruitment and retention rates.


  6. Can text messages encourage healthy behavior? Results are mixed

    June 22, 2022

    This week’s roundup of health care news includes studies on the effectiveness of text messages, breast cancer mortality, medical waste and updates on COVID-19 and monkeypox.


  7. Weight loss surgery lowers cancer risk

    June 14, 2022

    Bariatric surgery and immunotherapy drugs are possible options to prevent and treat different types of cancer.


  8. Employer-sponsored health plans should reflect national benchmarks for cancer screening

    June 8, 2022

    Employers should update any reminder or incentive program to avoid prompting cancer screening more often than recommended.

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  9. What employers should know about monkeypox

    May 31, 2022

    While monkeypox is unlikely to become a widespread disease or have a big impact on employers, there could be isolated outbreaks.


  10. Are we on the verge of another COVID-19 surge?

    May 25, 2022

    Employee notification systems, access to free masks and improved testing enable employers to be better positioned for rising COVID-19 variants and cases.


  11. Child and adolescent mental health worsened during the pandemic

    May 11, 2022

    COVID-19 continues to exact a heavy toll on individual wellbeing, especially among youth.


  12. The acute phase of the pandemic is probably over

    May 4, 2022

    Whether the pandemic has formally ended or not, people’s behavior has changed. Also, an update on potentially misleading prenatal tests.

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  13. April 2022

    Understanding COVID-19 risks on planes and public transit

    April 27, 2022

    When a federal judge threw out the CDC’s mask mandate for planes and other transit, questions about safety ensued. Also news about a new antibody treatment and a look back on the Clean Air Act’s success.


  14. 8 ways U.S. employers can improve access to maternal healthcare

    April 21, 2022

    Despite the challenges of racial disparity and high overall maternal mortality, there are steps employers can take to improve maternal health for all pregnant women.


  15. How the pandemic has increased healthcare innovation

    April 12, 2022

    Despite devastating loss, the pandemic has also led to impressive innovation that can help improve healthcare, the workplace and the world.


  16. Explore the monthly video updates

     


  17. Video: Improving employee health with better ventilation and healthcare innovation

    April, 2022

    • An update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. (0:41)
    • Environmental actions employers can take to help improve employee health (2:45)
    • What are your thoughts on the approval of a second COVID-19 booster shot for people over age 50 and those who are immunocompromised? (4:27)
    • What are your predictions for healthcare costs in 2023 and what can employers do to prepare? (7:17)
    • What healthcare innovations have come out of the pandemic? (10:25)
    • Final thoughts and quote: Jeff Levin-Scherz, MD (12:47)
      “The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably been a terrible tragedy but I do think we have to learn from this and be more prepared going forward.”


  18. Want to improve employee health? Improve indoor air quality

    April 5, 2022

    Ensuring pure indoor air is one way employers can help protect employees from COVID-19 and other transmissible illnesses, regardless of their immune status and willingness to be vaccinated.

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  19. March 2022

    COVID-19 reverses gains in cardiovascular disease

    March 30, 2022

    Employers can lower cardiovascular risk of their employees by offering and promoting tobacco cessation programs and programs to better treat high-blood pressure and high cholesterol.


  20. Businesses need to keep COVID-19 plans up to date to ensure resilience

    March 23, 2022

    This moment of relative peace offers employers the opportunity to plan for a possible future wave of COVID-19. While no one wants to plan for another surge, the time to prepare for one is now.


  21. COVID-19 risk diminishes amid increased immunity, better treatments, lower severity

    March 15, 2022

    New data suggest that a combination of heighted immunity and improved treatment options will result in lower fatality rates for COVID-19 than for influenza in those age 60 and under.


  22. Video: How employers can effectively plan for post-pandemic challenges

    March, 2022

    • Update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. (0:30)
    • How are we utilizing community wastewater monitoring? (1:40)
    • As the infection rates decrease, what should employers be focusing on? (2:25)
    • How can employers manage the affects of long COVID on their workforce? (3:57)
    • What is the latest research on COVID vaccines for kids? (5:50)
    • How can employers encourage employees to return to preventive care routines? (7:20)
    • What can employers do to help protect immunocompromised employees? (9:20)
    • What impact is the pandemic going to have on healthcare costs in 2023 and beyond? (11:10)
    • Final thoughts and quote: Katherine Wu, The Coronavirus’s Next Move, Atlantic Magazine (14:44)
      “We can’t say when the next threat will appear, or how formidable it will be. But we do have some control over its emergence: The more chances we give the virus to infect us, the more chances we give it to change itself again.”


  23. What Biden’s new COVID-19 plan could mean for employers

    March 8, 2022

    The Biden administration unveiled a new road map for COVID-19 treatment, prevention and preparedness measures aimed to end shutdowns.


  24. Employers should be aware of the pandemic’s effects on maternal wellbeing

    March 3, 2022

    A focus on how the pandemic has affected maternal mortality in the U.S. and how employers can address this important issue and help improve care for pregnant women.

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  25. February 2022

    Employers must address workplace safety for immunocompromised employees

    February 23, 2022

    Employers are responsible for creating a safe work environment for all and must be prepared to offer accommodations to decrease COVID-19 risks for those with weakened immune systems.


  26. Employers may end mask and distancing rules as case and hospitalization rates continue to decline

    February 16, 2022

    This new phase of the pandemic will require flexibility from employers as they provide support to employees navigating a safe work environment.


  27. Employers restart return-to-work programs as Omicron cases decline

    February 8, 2022

    We’ll likely see continued decrease in community transmission and an increase in vaccine options and availability of rapid tests, leading many employers to return remote workers to the workplace.


  28. Video: Creating a safe workplace that can withstand future COVID-19 disruptions

    February, 2022

    • Where are we now in the pandemic? (0:30)
    • Is getting COVID-19 really no worse than getting the flu? (1:42)
    • Should those who have already recovered from COVID-19 still get vaccinated? (3:19)
    • How should employers be orienting around boosters, with respect to any vaccine mandates that they might be considering? (5:03)
    • How concerned should employers be about Long COVID? (6:39)
    • Should employers be thinking about incorporating early cancer detection technology into their healthcare offerings? (8:24)


  29. Employers continue workplace safety efforts as employees return and COVID-19 still threatens

    February 2, 2022

    Omicron cases are down, but we continue to have hospitals under severe stress and the long COVID-19 threat persists.

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  30. January 2022

    6 ways the pandemic has changed employer approaches to the workplace

    January 25, 2022

    COVID-19 case counts in the U.S. have started to decline. But even when we achieve low community transmission rates, the world will likely not look as it did in the fall of 2019.


  31. What the Supreme Court ruling on OSHA’s vaccine mandate means for employers

    January 19, 2022

    The Supreme Court decision does not prevent most employers from instituting a vaccine mandate, but some will need different policies for different geographies to maintain compliance with state laws.


  32. Video: Navigating the Omicron wave

    January 18, 2022

    • Can you give us an overview of what's happening with Omicron? (0:28)
    • How should people be thinking about COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters? (2:13)
    • How does the CDC's new guidance on "up to date on vaccination" impact employers? (3:26)
    • Where do we stand with respect to COVID-19 testing? (4:36)
    • What are the implications of school's closing because of Omicron? (6:11)
    • Can you share your thoughts on reports that children currently represent a higher number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 than in previous waves? (7:39)
    • Recent studies suggest that teenage boys may experience complications from the COVID-19 vaccine. What is your recommendation on boosters for teenage boys in light of this research? (8:46)
    • When do you think oral treatments for COVID-19 will be available? (10:14)
    • Are we heading towards the exit ramp of the pandemic? (11:38)
    • Final thoughts, Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz: "I think that we are at an inflection point in the pandemic. In the coming weeks and months, we have the promise of fewer infections and better treatments. In the meantime, we should to be careful by continuing to wear masks indoors and trying to avoid places where we're less likely to wear masks, like restaurants and gyms." (13:36)


  33. Omicron causing strain on employers and hospitals despite being less dangerous

    January 11, 2022

    As rates of Omicron cases skyrocket, studies continue to show that those infected are likely to be less sick than those who were infected during previous waves of COVID-19.


  34. How employers are responding to Omicron

    January 5, 2022

    Though Omicron appears to be less dangerous than its predecessors, we should not let our guard down.

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