On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.  At particular risk are organizations with significant employee populations in affected areas; however, as cases continue to be reported globally, many more are affected by evolving travel restrictions and recommendations. Supply chain disruptions, employee absenteeism, travel, and the global economy could be significantly impacted if the outbreak persists.


How can you prepare, respond, and recover effectively?


Your organization should take action to manage its own risk, including potential effects on your people and operations. It is important to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to the employee experience, and your employees’ health and wellbeing. 


Among other actions, we recommend to :


  • Monitor updates from your national and regional health authorities (see list below), and other public health officials and government entities.
  • Review and test your business continuity, crisis management, and crisis communications plans.
  • Based on local health authority guidance, remind employees of:
    • The symptoms of coronavirus
    • What an individual can do to prevent contracting coronavirus
    • What a person who has the symptoms of the infection should do
    • What to do if you have been in contact with someone who gets the infection
  • Communicate best practices for group gatherings, public facing roles, telework, and other mitigation and management strategies.
  • Keep your employees informed and educated and any steps being taken to safeguard their health.
  • Follow travel restriction guidance from authorities in your country.  Ensure that any employees who must travel to affected areas take steps to protect themselves.
  • Consider how the outbreak could affect your suppliers and vendors and explore sourcing goods, ingredients, and component parts or services from alternative suppliers.
  • Review your applicable insurance policies — including workers’ compensation, general liability, and both traditional and non-damage property/business interruption coverage — and prepare for potential claim filings.
  • Determine if special procedures or exceptions are required to protect or support individuals who may be unable to attend work due to vulnerability, quarantines or other restrictions. 

Below you will find a list of provincial health authorities and their specific information on coronavirus. We also included other credible national and international resources as a reference.


How we can help?

Leveraging leading edge data and insights in benefits, disability, property and risk, risk management and more, Mercer Marsh Benefits™ can help you prepare your plan to mitigate your risk and engage your employees to be well prepared. We can also help with employee support mechanisms for your medical and/or travel accident policies for domestic or mobile employees.  Please contact us to learn more.


Provincial Resources


Provincial resource names and websites


Website for updates

British Columbia

BC Centre for Disease Control


Government of Alberta


Government of Saskatchewan


Government of Manitoba


Government of Ontario


Gouvernement du Québec

Nova Scotia

Government of Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Prince Edward Island

Government of Prince Edward Isla

Newfoundland & Labrador

NL: Department of Health and Community Services


Government of Yukon

Northwest Territories

NWT: Health and Social Services


Nunavut: Department of Health

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