OSCPA acts as COVID-19 spreads to Ohio

Written on Mar 12, 2020

OSCPA staff report

The Ohio Society of CPAs moved an in-person event scheduled for next week to online only, as news broke that cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been found in Ohio.

OSCPA President & CEO Scott Wiley, CAE, said the health of members, employees and the public is the Society’s top priority.

“We will digest the best information we have available and make decisions that are focused on the health and well-being of our team, members and customers,” Wiley said. “To that end, we have notified participants in next week’s Strategic Finance and Accounting Summit that the live locations of that program have been suspended and are instead making that a completely virtual offering.

“In addition, all external events slated to occur in our offices and Learning Center between now and April 15 will not occur,” he continued. “Your well-being is our utmost priority, we apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.”

SFAS registrants who wish to cancel their registration for the online event should call the Society at 614.764.2727.

Developments surrounding COVID-19 moved quickly this week, as The Ohio State University announced it is holding virtual classes for the remainder of March, Southwest Airlines said it is enhancing their cleaning procedures and Big Lots is preparing for financial setbacks caused by the virus.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and can “range from mild to severe illness and death.”

“While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases,” writes the CDC. “Older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions – like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes for example – seem to be at higher risk for developing serious COVID-19 illness.”

To reduce the likelihood of getting the virus, the CDC emphasizes the importance of respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene, as well as performing routine environmental cleaning in the office. However, one of the most notable tips from the CDC is to encourage sick employees to stay home.

“Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies,” writes the CDC.

But staying home when sick isn’t the only method of prevention. They also recommend staying home if you even know someone showing symptoms.

“Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual,” writes the CDC.

For further guidance for businesses and employers, read more from the CDC here. And as news of the coronavirus continues to develop, refer to OSCPA’s resource page to stay informed.

Related: Read Gov. Dewine’s March 11 letter on Ohio’s COVID-19 response.

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