One key component of preparing for the anticipated second wave of COVID-19 cases in Canada is for businesses to assess how they responded to the first wave of the disease, Northbridge Insurance is telling its commercial clients.
“Many businesses that were hard hit during the first lockdown worry that they won’t survive a second lockdown,” Northbridge Insurance stated in a blog post on its website titled Preparing your business for a potential second wave. “That’s why it’s critical to prepare now, should new restrictions or another lockdown occur.”
The Canadian Press reports that in London, Ont., a testing site at Western University hit capacity only two hours after opening Monday following word that five students on campus had tested positive. Public Health Ontario reported 401 new cases of COVID-19 Friday.
In mid-August, the province was reporting daily case counts in the double digits.
CP reported Tuesday that Quebec is reporting 292 new cases.
“As we’re seeing with cases rising across the country, we are not out of the woods,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week, as quoted by the Canadian Press. Trudeau stressed public vigilance to fight the pandemic, frequent hand washing, mask wearing and physical distancing.
Meanwhile, Northbridge suggests commercial clients can prepare for a second wave of COVID-19 by starting buying essential items, such as personal protective equipment, sanitizer and cleaning supplies. “You’ll still need these essentials if you’re offering pick-up or curbside delivery during another lockdown.”
In its blog, Northbridge spells out some questions that risk managers should be asking right now in assessing their organization’s response to the first wave:
Did you experience inventory issues or workforce disruptions?
Did you have enough personal protective equipment (PPE)?
Were you able to pivot your business to continue bringing in revenue?
“When you’ve examined your response to the first wave, draw up new policies and procedures to reinforce what worked and fix what didn’t,” Northbridge advises.
Companies may also consider changing their business model to avoid depending on a single product or market, said Northbridge, quoting the Business Development Bank of Canada.
“Consider exploring adjacent markets or new products and services for your existing customer base. During the first wave of the pandemic, for example, fashion designers started creating masks and distilleries started producing hand sanitizer.”