by Brianna Crandall — February 10, 2020 — Many facilities managers (FMs) have questions about whether and how they should prepare for the recent outbreak of a new respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, termed “2019-nCoV” [causing the disease that WHO named “COVID-19” on February 11]. In response to these concerns, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA International) has released a short guide that provides a foundation of knowledge to better understand the contagion and how to best prepare and respond in a commercial building setting.
“Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the immediate health risk to the American public from 2019-nCoV is considered low at this time, it is important to prepare your building occupants and employees for this and other potential outbreaks,” says BOMA International.
As of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) February 8 Situation Report, there have been 34,598 confirmed cases in China, with 723 deaths, and 288 confirmed cases in 24 other countries, with 1 death. The CDC’s February 7 update indicates five US states with confirmed cases.
BOMA’s Quick Guide includes sections explaining what a coronavirus is, steps to protect yourself, what to do if you or staff members get sick, how to protect your tenants and staff, and work environment / business continuity recommendations.
The Coronavirus Quick Guide for FMs, prepared in conjunction with the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is available for free download from the BOMA website.
BOMA’s local chapters are passing on the word about the guide and resources to help FMs prepare their buildings and their tenants as well.
BOMA’s Security & Emergency Preparedness webpage offers federal preparedness resources as well as commercial real estate (CRE) industry preparedness resources.
For up-to-the minute official information about the coronavirus, visit the following webpages: