The state of the COVID-19 pandemic can sometimes seem to change at any given moment. Statistical measures of severity can vary dramatically depending on the data you are looking at, such as:
- Number of new cases
- Number of deaths
- Number of hospitalizations
- Number of ICU beds occupied
- Rate of vaccination
Each of these statistics can paint a dramatically different picture of relative risk when viewed in isolation. Businesses must look beyond the individual numbers to determine if their employees are at an elevated risk of COVID-19 infection when traveling or working in certain areas.
Sometimes businesses need to get a sense of the worldwide impact of COVID. Businesses that operate in multiple countries may encounter different scenarios.
For country and worldwide data on COVID cases and deaths, the World Health Organization provides a weekly epidemiological update. This downloadable PDF has worldwide maps that show at-a-glance which countries are experiencing the most COVID cases based on various measures including positive test results, hospitalizations, and population-adjusted infection and fatality rates.
This site doesn’t have any nation-level regulations, so you’ll have to go to your country’s national health website to learn more.
National resources can help businesses determine regulations and best practices in each country. They can help businesses keep track of changes, such as the United States federal testing mandate released in September 2021.
For the United States, the Center for Disease Control is one of the best websites for COVID information. The CDC provides a data center that shows cases and deaths in each state and also offers national guidance for workplaces to operate during COVID.
In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service is the information center for COVID. The NHS site has details on how to obtain a vaccine or test as well as details on COVID. Data on new U.K. cases and deaths is housed on a different government site, and it is updated daily.
This detailed data can assist a business in developing risk mitigation measures, business continuity plans, and compliant solutions for continued operations while maintaining a safe and healthy workforce.
Finding local COVID resources can be a challenge because each area operates differently. Some cities may have their own coronavirus page. Other areas may only have coronavirus data at a county or regional level.
Local newspapers, medical centers, and county or municipal level health authorities can often provide locally-specific coronavirus data.
Using this Data to Maintain Business Continuity, Improve Health and Safety, and Comply with Mandates
When interpreted in the appropriate context, this data can be used to tailor a business’s health and safety plan. Understanding your area’s data and how to respond can be complicated, and subject matter experts in the fields of industrial and occupational medicine such as RMI can help you navigate the complexities of the current situation.