Concerns over personal safety remain for some traders, while others show steely optimism If you want to make money, the online world is the place to be.Whether you want to work or put up yo As Menlo-Atherton and Woodside high schools prepares to reopen this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many student athletes have begun their summer conditioning exercises. Digital health has been thriving during the pandemic, as patients see alternatives to in-person care, but not every business will do well, according to experts. The NBA restart plan includes 113 pages of safety protocols, but it can’t exactly sing “Hakuna Matata” and predict no worries for the rest of its days
Pubs, restaurants, cafes and hairdressers in England will reopen on 4 July and business owners have been preparing with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
“We’re in the entertainment business,” says chef Mitch Tonks. “We create restaurants so that people can relax and have a wonderful time.
“I said to my team, if the regulations are goggles and masks and gloves, we will not open a single restaurant until that time has passed. I don’t want it to be a functional experience.”
Tonks co-owns the award-winning Seahorse in Dartmouth, Devon, and eight Rockfish restaurants across the south-west of England.
Last week he had a group Zoom call with Boris Johnson to talk about the challenges facing rural businesses: “We were all saying the same thing: we are used to looking after people. Just let us do that.
“I felt like he was listening. He was very interested to hear what we had to say. My thing was: you need to tell people they can go back to pubs and restaurants as soon as possible. You need to tell us what the rules of the game are as soon as possible.”
On 4 July, the Plymouth Rockfish will reopen as “the canary” to test customer and staff reaction to the changes he and his team have made. The menu will be written on the paper tablecloths. “We have cards that the guest fills in and hands to the server so it makes it good fun, like a dim sum restaurant.” A watchful “covid monitor” in a white T-shirt will guide customers and clean constantly. Customers on the covered terrace will order and pay via an app. The menu is shorter, to make preparation simpler for the kitchen staff.”
They are aiming to do 80 covers rather than 120. “We are probably not going to be turning tables very quickly so in revenue terms we are going to be looking at half what we normally take.” It’s all about winning back diners’ confidence, he says – and making it a better place for his staff.
The Seahorse will open on 9 July for dinner outdoors: “We’ve created a beach club-type outdoor space on the embankment looking over the river: 24 covers, dinner only, bar selling rosé, chilled music.” Rockfishes in Exmouth, Exeter and Poole will reopen around 20 July. They’ve invested in marquees and stretch tents to protect diners from the unpredictable British summer.
All 174 staff have been on furlough since they closed on 20 March. Tonks has been locked down with three of his five grown-up children in Brixham, next to the fish market that supplies all his restaurants. His daughter Sadie teaches yoga on Zoom and he’s been cooking with his son Ben, a sous chef at the Seahorse.
“There were times of depression. Now I’m euphoric. I used the time to read a lot and establish new habits. I never really had a rhythm to my day in the past. I just got up and went to work early all day. I really have loved the time. It’s been a chance for the world to pause. You just can’t overestimate those benefits.”
“It’s been fraught over the last few months,” said D’Lima, who runs a pub close to Heathrow airport, near Hounslow. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and doing a job and service that I love, but I’m apprehensive as to how I’ll survive.”
With his trade closely related to that of the airport, which will not return to full capacity for some time, the landlord said that government support schemes have only allowed him to stay afloat without earning an income.
From next week, customers will be greeted at the door and directed to tables but he expressed fears that some people may not be comfortable sharing their details with him, as mandated.
“I wouldn’t want to give my personal details to strangers,” D’Lima said. “But we’ll have to, though we’re unsure about how to quite to do it. We’re seeking advice from the brewery.”
And he questioned how any pub could be profitable if they needed to be full to do so. “Strict guidelines might mean having to turn people away if we’re busy and that’s not what anyone wants.”
He is looking forward to the reopening, but still laments the closure of pubs in the first place: “A sensible environment for people to responsibly drink was taken away.”
When the lockdown hit, nearly all of Borg-Neal’s 984 staff were furloughed but most are now preparing to return for the grand reopening on 4 July.
Even so, he says, reopening with restrictions on capacity due to physical distancing is a voyage into a perilous unknown.
“We’re better suited than most because we have big pubs with a lot of tables and it’s sit-down oriented. We’re not in London and we’ve got big gardens. But I see it being a slower recovery for some parts of London and cities.
“Even for me it’s a hell of a worry that we’ll have enough sales to make the business model work. Our sales will be down, with capacity at 70%, but our labour costs won’t go down because we have a more complex operation now, with table service and more money on cleaning.”
Precautions such as these are one reason why he thinks the government should look to ease restrictions further. “Pubs are safer than what’s happening now, with people gathering in public places with booze, with no toilets, no hand sanitiser and so on.
“The restrictions are understandable but we don’t know how necessary they are. We operated until 20 March and not one of my employees caught Covid-19. We had implemented extra cleaning and hand sanitiser.
“If we can show quickly that everything is working well and there isn’t a spike in cases, they could ease restrictions so that other jobs can be saved.”
Borg-Neal fears parts of the pub industry will not survive but says the government has options available to save jobs in the hospitality industry. “The biggest single thing they could do is to get rid of VAT on food. That would also save much of the restaurant business, which is run on very tight margins.”
Sachdeva is nervous about reopening next week. The shop and cafe had not been open long and was only beginning to become successful before being forced to close. “There’s a lot of anxiety around, it won’t be the same,” she says.
“There’s still a lot of fear, especially for the elderly and before lockdown it was mostly older people who would come into the cafe.”
Describing lockdown as “nerve racking”, Sachdeva says she started a takeaway cake service but had to stop as there weren’t enough regular orders – leading to high wastage – and that she was worried about footfall.
The cafe normally has seating for about 24 people, including some outside space, but Sachdeva – who secured a grant from one of the government’s schemes – thinks she will have to reduce that by half to follow the 1-metre distancing rule.
And she is acutely aware of risk for business owners. “You need a high footfall to get back on track and see any profits, and then there’s the fear of a second wave,” she says. “I am concerned about my safety, but we can’t afford not to open.”
“We’ve had to create a priority booking list,” says Fox, of his main clients. “Everyone wants an appointment on the first day back.”
He says that the salon struggled to get support throughout the lockdown and eventually received a bounce-back loan. Now, attention has turned to making everything as safe as possible.
“We’ve looked at what nurses wear, since we touch the head, and have gone for visors, gloves, aprons and masks as a standard, with the client also wearing a mask, a freshly laundered gown and shoe covers.” Staff and clients will also have a temperature test, he adds.
However, Fox believes the government would have been wise to allow the return of salons and barbers earlier – due to the huge demand for haircuts.
“Everyone is desperate for a haircut and some hairdressers have been breaking the rules. The longer the government left it, the more they pushed it underground,” he says.
In just over a week during March, Côte transformed itself from a 96-strong brasserie chain to a home delivery service. As lockdown kicked off, 100 staff started creating ready meal versions of customer favourites including beef bourguignon and chocolate mousse, and set up online sales of wines, fresh meats and cheese.
Alex Scrimgeour, the chief executive of Côte, says they have taken thousands of orders, and have also had inquiries from supermarkets and others wanting to take on the range. But the initiative has made only a small contribution to offsetting the closure of Côte’s restaurants for three months. The vast majority of its 3,000 staff have been on furlough as the group battles to stay afloat.
Scrimgeour says it will take time to bring staff back. “People’s habits have changed in lockdown. I don’t think the minute restaurants open they will be filled with people coming in the same numbers as before.” He believes the elderly, vulnerable and those who are just afraid will take some persuading to return.
Just three of Côte’s restaurants will open on 4 July – in Kingston, Chiswick and Windsor – as the group tests demand and new ways of working with about 30% less capacity.
Scrimgeour says government guidance is vague and leaves questions about the details of operating. “A lot of things are not thought through, and it’s going to be very challenging,” he says.
More restaurants will gradually reopen through July and August but Scrimgeour says it is “up in the air” whether all 96 outlets will finally reopen. “It depends on trade and conversations with landlords,” he says.
“The government has done an excellent job of terrifying the consumer,” he says. “It is going to take a long time to heal.”
Joliffe says he was given the go-ahead to reopen on Tuesday. “There’ll be lots of maintenance work, grass and hedge cutting to be done.”
He and his wife, Sharon, did not qualify for the furlough scheme as they work seasonally and were set to take up their new job at the beginning of April.
To make ends meet, while receiving jobseeker’s allowance, Joliffe applied for at least three jobs a week and renewed his forklift licence. But he could not find a job until this week, and now, like delayed buses, two have come at once.
“It’s taken me all this time to get a part-time cleaning job in a supermarket and now I don’t need it,” he says, adding that he was looking forward to returning to work outdoors.
“Its bit of a godsend now, as we were thinking if lockdown went further into the season, everything would have taken a big turn. So it’s a good result today.”
While all cafes can reopen from the first weekend of July, many of those with outdoor areas have been serving drinks and snacks for several weeks.
“We pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps, worked 19-hour days, created an NHS flower display, cracked the tunes on and smashed it to best of our ability,” says Peacock.
Being forced to close at the beginning of lockdown was distressing for her, since the cafe is not just a business but the bedrock of a community.
“People are still saying ‘We’re so delighted to see you back Kate, it’s like a sense of normality returning’,” she says, adding that she plays Bob Marley’s track Three Little Birds about 20 times a day.
“The fact my music is on, the doors are open and kids can enjoy an ice-cream, it makes people realise everything is going to be all right in the end.”
Author: Sarah Butler
Make Money Online – Ideas That Work
If you want to make money, the online world is the place to be.
Whether you want to work or put up your own business, doing it online will give you great opportunities. In fact, you’ll have lesser risk when you start a new business online than to invest your dollars in a downtown office or storefront.
Since your business is based online, you’ll also reach more potential customers and work from virtually there. With just basic website knowledge and communication skills, it would only take you days to have your business up and running.
Do you think you’re ready to make some money online?
Below are some online ideas that have been proven to work in terms of bringing in some extra income.
Money Making Online Ideas
Be an Online Affiliate
This is definitely one of the easiest ways to make a few bucks online.
Being an online affiliate will allow you to receive commission for selling products for other companies.
The products can either be sold on the company website or through channels such as eBay.
What’s great about this is the fact that there’s no need for you to develop any product just to earn money- you just have to sell.
Sell your own brand
If you are into creating great images, then you don’t have to fuss over your inventory.
If the ones you’ve created can be easily printed on a product, you can make money.
Then you can upload your designs on different websites like CafePress. If someone or a company likes them, they’ll print them up and ship the product.
You can also create other designs such as bags, T-shirts, hats, calendars, books, cards, posters, and so many others. In every item sold, you can get a commission.
Create WordPress Themes
Each passing day, more and more people are eager to establish a strong online presence.
This has resulted to the high demand in website templates and WordPress themes.
If you the talent for HTML coding and website design, you can earn big bucks by doing so.
You can create some then sell them on online marketplaces like TemplateMonster or ThemeForest to generate income.
Stock and Forex Trading
Although stock and Forex trading is considered by many people to be risky, starting out small and gaining knowledge and experience will make it worthwhile.
In fact the moment you get the hang of it, you can potentially earn a sizable amount of money.
To be a successful trader, you should know which currencies and stocks are likely to decrease or increase in terms of value. As time pass by you’ll get to learn more about its principles and strategies which will lead to bigger earning.
In conclusion, the internet is overflowing with money making opportunities. Although it may not be the primary source of income for some people, it can definitely be a solid supplement stream of earning extra cash every month.
Do you think one of these ideas will work for you?
Start now to find out!
Source by Michael C Wong
High school athletes start conditioning, with restrictions
Woodside High School assistant varsity football coach Danny Bowers makes sure football players stand 6 feet apart and squat correctly on the high school’s football field in Woodside on June 24, 2020. Coaches are required to wear masks throughout the entire conditioning training. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
As Menlo-Atherton and Woodside high schools prepare to reopen this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many student athletes have begun their summer conditioning exercises.
Both schools are following strict Sequoia Union High School District safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus as student athletes begin their physical training. The district’s guidelines gave the green light for sports conditioning as of June 16, but include significant rules such as a minimum of 6 feet distance between athletes, workouts broken into groups of 12, and no balls or equipment allowed during the sessions.
Additionally, athletes must complete health screenings and temperature checks prior to the workout and bring their own water bottles, and hand sanitizing stations must be available on site. Students and coaches should wear face coverings, the guidelines say, unless masks impede breathing while exercising.
Woodside High School currently has athletes attending workouts in football, basketball, water polo and cheerleading, according to Athletic Director Tim Faulkner.
At Menlo-Atherton High School, only football and water polo have begun conditioning, while cross country and golf athletes are encouraged to work out on their own, according to Athletic Director Steven Kryger. Football coaches are breaking the school’s football field into four quadrants of 12 athletes each, and workouts have no equipment or physical contact, Kryger said. Meanwhile, water polo sessions have athletes doing swimming exercises with 6 feet of distance between each other.
Author: Tyler Callister
Investors predict the winners and losers in America’s shift to digital health during the pandemic
Proteus Digital Health
Source: Proteus Digital Health
Digital health is one of the sectors that has been thriving in the pandemic. Venture investors backed companies to the tune of $3.1 billion, more than in any first quarter of any previous year since 2016, according to Rock Health.
But not every company in the field will do well, despite the fact that more Americans are now opting for virtual doctor visits, online drug purchases and at-home medical testing. Investors suspect there will be some home runs because of Covid-19 and some abject failures.
Either way, all eyes are on health tech as Americans seek alternatives to traditional brick-and-mortar care. For that reason, CNBC selected a cohort of some promising digital health start-ups on its 2020 Disruptor 50 list, spanning biotech, health-technology and pharmaceuticals. They include GoodRx, Healthy.io and Butterfly Networks. Many of these businesses have transitioned a chunk of their talent and resources to support the Covid-19 effort and are raising sizable funding rounds along the way.
To find out which kinds of companies are likely to do well — and not so well — in the coming months, we spoke to a half-dozen investors, entrepreneurs and academics to get their take.
Here’s what they had to say.
Telemedicine companies have seen skyrocketing usage during the pandemic, particularly in the months of March and April. Analysts now expect that visits could top 200 million this year, up from the previous estimate of 36 million. Many of the largest companies in the space, including American Well, or “AmWell,” that connects patients with doctors online, are raising capital just to keep up with demand and are weighing the public markets. The Boston-based company, which recently confidentially filed for an initial public offering, has already raised more than $500 million from such investors as Teva Pharmaceuticals and Anthem.
Within the broad umbrella of telemedicine, the experts agreed that some companies are poised do particularly well.
Meghan Fitzgerald, a private equity investor and adjunct health policy professor at Columbia University, is a big believer in technology that helps seniors get cared for remotely. Many older Americans are nervous about being in nursing homes, given Covid-19 outbreaks, or seeing the doctor in-person. So technology that helps them live independently and get checked out by a remote clinical team will likely see a big upshot in demand. But it also has to be custom-built for this population because not all seniors (although some are very tech-savvy) are comfortable using smartphones and other tech without support. Fitzgerland sees an opportunity for companies that offers a mix of virtual care with some in-person visits, when it’s required.
Matthew Holt, a health-technology consultant, thinks there’s a big opportunity for more companies to “bridge the gap” between remote monitoring for patients at home, telehealth and behavioral care, including to bring all of the information into one place. He also thinks that there’s a growing need for technology that can predict which patients will likely need to get seen in person, rather than continuing to stay home. Those sorts of applications, many of which will claim to offer artificial intelligence technology, could see skyrocketing demand, and they could be adopted by health insurance plans.
Dan Gebremedhin, a doctor and investor with Flare Capital, is bullish on area of health care that is notoriously underfunded: diagnostics. During Covid-19, many diagnostics companies have shifted to helping develop Covid-19 tests, which remain in short supply, and that’s been a big boon for their business. Others have focused on at-home medical testing for other conditions that will still affect patients during the pandemic, such as Healthy.io’s at-home urinalysis test.
Gebremedhin is also feeling optimistic about start-ups that sell into the Medicaid market or serve the non-insured, given rising unemployment. GoodRx, does just that and is reporting huge growth. GoodRx, which aims to help people save money on their prescription medications, was valued at $2.85 billion at its last valuation in 2018.
Behavioral or mental health is another big area, according to many of the experts, given that stress and anxiety is at an all time high. Companies like Big Health, which recently raised $39 million, have reported major growth by focusing on helping people get better quality sleep. Another company in the space, AbleTo, just sold to United Health’s Optum for $470 million. Many of the app makers say that demand is continuing to spike, even as people start to feel more comfortable seeking care in person.
As the health-care industry continues to evolve digitally, there are some services that are not expected to make the shift significantly. Pregnancy care is one area that will stay relatively stable, says Carolyn Witte, the CEO of Tia, a five-year-old start-up backed by veteran venture capitalist John Doerr, among other institutional investors, that specializes in women’s health services including birth control and behavioral health. Some services can be done online, but there’s also a heavy in-person component to caring for pregnant patients. And that won’t change much, even during a pandemic.
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“You can do a lot of the wrap around consults virtually — triage, nutrition, even fertility testing at home,” notes Witte. “But you can’t do core obstetrics visits virtually, including the ultrasound, so pandemic or not, pregnant women still need to go to the doctor.”
Gebremedhin agrees that there’s a whole sector of the health economy that can’t be easily conducted virtually. That will still continue, particularly if the patient isn’t in a position to get the care they need remotely. Many patients will still go into the hospital or doctor’s office for chemotherapy or for dialysis, for instance.
Health-care consulting services that help providers and other groups figure out how to make budget cuts during the pandemic will also see their business stay stable or remain unchanged, notes Pranay Kapadia, the CEO of health-tech start-up Notable, a company that helps doctors transcribe their patient visits. Some, of course, will lose business as their clients struggle and even go bankrupt. But others will see it pickup as hospitals look for ways to stabilize after a particularly rough few months.
Health systems lost millions of dollars per day in the spring just for staying open. And the situation could be bleak for several years as hospitals struggle to recoup their losses. Many were hit hard because they needed to delay nonessential elective procedures, which are a major source of revenues. Current estimate indicate that health systems in April lost between $1 billion and $1.2 billion per day.
So Fitzgerald, the private equity investor, doesn’t see herself investing in companies that don’t have a clear path to reimbursement in the short-term. Start-ups that are approaching hospitals asking them to forge tech and IT deals that cost them millions of dollars could struggle. “This is the worst time to ask someone (at a hospital) to empty their pockets,” she said.
She’s also wary of companies that are pure brick-and-mortar, meaning there’s no virtual offering when there should be. Patients are starting to reschedule their visits with their doctors, but many are still using telemedicine instead. And companies should start to think about meeting that demand, if they haven’t done so already.
Gebremedhin notes that any businesses that specialize in procedures that are viewed as discretionary and optional will also struggle. That might include plastic surgery or cosmetic dermatology. That are also tech companies that are geared around these in-person patient visits, which are currently still lower than normal volumes. Companies that make apps for check-ins or provide scribes for in-person visits, for instance, will likely also be hard-hit.
Traditional retail pharmacies might also struggle, notes Stephen Buck, a pharmacy expert and co-founder of a website called cancersurvivalrates. “In the short term, people stockpiled medications, and now many are getting them via (mail) delivery … and some will never go back to in-store activity.”
What kinds of digital health companies do you think will do well during the pandemic? Let us know at @CNBCTech.
Author: Christina Farr
How Disney employees will work inside the NBA’s campus bubble site
Will Disney restore the Magic Kingdom? Or will it oversee a Mickey Mouse operation?
The NBA will resume its season on July 30 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando, hoping the quarantined site can become a small world after all with nearby game and practice venues, luxury hotels and various restaurants. The NBA outlined 113 pages of health and safety protocols that detail daily COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and numerous social distancing rules. Yet, the NBA cannot exactly sing “Hakuna Matata” and predict no worries for the rest of their days.
On a conference call Friday with reporters, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged “the level of concern has increased” amid nationwide rises in both positive tests and deaths related to the novel coronavirus. Florida also has been among the most affected states recently. Therefore, Silver conceded that “no options are risk-free right now.” Yet, the NBA has maintained relative optimism with the setup for reasons beyond consulting various health officials.
“One of the reasons we selected Orlando was because of Disney,” Silver said, “and our longtime partnership with them and our confidence in them as operators.”
Not everyone has shared that optimism.
Just under 16,000 people signed a petition addressed to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to delay the opening of Walt Disney World scheduled for July 11. Though it cannot be independently confirmed who signed the petition, it is presented as if they are Disney employees.
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“This virus is not gone, unfortunately it’s only become worse in this state,” the petition reads. “Having our theme parks remain closed until cases are steadily decreasing would keep our guests, our employees and their families safe. Re-opening the theme parks is only putting our guests, employees, and families at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. While theme parks are a great way to relax and enjoy free time, it is a non-essential business; it is not fair to the people who work there to risk their lives, especially if they are at risk or have family members who are at risk. People are more important than making a profit.”
Disney spokesperson Andrea Finger declined to comment, but she passed along a statement that Dr. Pamela Hymel, Disney Parks’ Chief Medical Officer posted June 18 on the company’s website. Hymel outlined the various protocols Disney will take, including temperature checks for guests, increased cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing, required face coverings and options for contact-less payments. Hymel added, “as we prepare for the reopening of our destinations, this is a responsibility we take very seriously.”
“I support people’s rights to express that point of view. We have members that have the opposite point of view and everywhere in between,” said Jeremy Haicken, president of UNITE HERE Local 737, the union which represents workers in Walt Disney World Food & Beverage and Housekeeping. “The bigger question is Florida has a completely broken unemployment system where workers are faced with this choice to starve or go back to work in a dangerous environment. About 30% of our members have not received a penny in unemployment in ten weeks. It is absolutely criminal that workers are being forced to choose between starving and going back to work in this environment.”
Nonetheless, union members stressed they have negotiated various health protocols with Disney to ensure employees are safe. The NBA’s quarantined site will not be open to the general public as Disney World will be. Yet, these measures offer a window into how Disney’s employees will handle the venues and hotels that the NBA will use.
“Disney is doing an excellent job,” said Eric Clinton, the president of UNITE HERE Local 362, which oversees the custodians and ride operators at Disney World. “I’ve been a harsh critic of them over the years, but I’ve been blown away by how they have responded. Disney is going to do this safely. They have a good plan and they’re a sophisticated company. So is the NBA.”
Health officials offered mostly rave reviews about the NBA’s 113-page health and safety protocols, both for its preparation and depth. Yet, some health officials and those in NBA circles wondered why Disney employees would not be subject to quarantine procedures as NBA players, coaches and staff members are required.
“I don’t think any reasonable person would say that was a real possibility. You’re talking about hundreds, maybe thousands, of workers in these hotels that would never see their family for three months,” Clinton said. “These are a mix of single parents, mixed families, joint families, all with kids. They’re all very diverse. They are immigrants and people of color. There is absolutely no way someone should expect a housekeeper who makes $15 an hour not to see her children for however long this is going to go on.”
Haicken said union officials plan to have more conversations with Disney this week about how the unspecified number of employees will manage the NBA’s campus site. But the NBA has already outlined various guidelines in its protocols for how Disney workers will operate at the hotels used: the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, the Grand Floridian and the Yacht Club.
The NBA stated that “in no event may a Disney cast member deliver luggage personally inside a player or staff member’s room.” It said Disney workers will only clean a hotel room when players, coaches and staff members are not present. Employees are expected to clean those rooms during scheduled practice, shootarounds and games.
Some exceptions exist, such as if a housekeeping staff member needs to respond to an emergency. During those times, Disney workers will be required to wear a mask and gloves while maintaining at least six feet apart. Disney will also assign housekeeping staff to a specific set of floors at each hotel. Clinton added that there will be specific housekeeping staff devoted to NBA personnel at the Grand Floridian, and a different set of staff devoted to Timeshare customers.
To minimize foot traffic, housekeeping staff will service rooms once a week but can increase services upon request. As for public spaces, Clinton said housekeepers will routinely sanitize the elevator, lobby and hand rails. Public restrooms will also be closed every two hours for cleaning. NBA guidelines added housekeepers will frequently clean, disinfect and sanitize high-touch surfaces (every two hours), medium-touch areas (every two to four hours) and low-touch areas (every eight hours or once daily).
They will have other responsibilities, too. When teams begin their quarantine between July 7 and 11, Disney employees will arrange for meal delivery to be placed outside each person’s room. They will clean and disinfect training and practice equipment in between uses after a team leaves the area. While teams will be responsible for their own laundry, Disney employees will clean the hotel linens. Disney will also staff take-out restaurants with the same employees to eliminate staff turnover. They will all be required to wear masks and gloves, while staying at least six feet apart.
Said Clinton: “They’re going to be scheduled and trained in a way not to interact with the players as much as possible.”
The NBA will have daily testing for players, coaches and staff members. Why won’t Disney do the same for its employees?
“We wanted it to be done regularly, but that was a very large expense to them,” said Clinton, who expressed uncertainty about the exact cost. “They felt if they put in self-assessment at home and when you get to the work place, that would be enough.”
What do those assessments entail?
Every day, Disney employees will take their temperature at home. If they have a temperature over 100.4 degrees, they are required to call in sick to work. They will take another temperature check when they arrive on Disney property to ensure it is not over 100.4, or they will have to return home. Employees will also have to report any symptoms, including coughing, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. They will also have to report if they have been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the prior 14 days. Employees will be sent home if they answer affirmatively to any of those questions.
So employees do not feel pressured to work with any illnesses, Disney will pay them for sick days. Disney will also pay any employees that have to self-quarantine should they be diagnosed with COVID-19, regardless of where it originated. But why does Disney and its unions not feel overly concerned about the lack of testing?
“I think having testing would be great. But testing alone does not guarantee that the illness is not transmitted,” Haiken said. “Someone can get positive test results a few days late and you already spread the illness. There are a lot of people calling for testing with workers. It’s a very difficult setup, unless you somehow test every day and not allow people to work while they have the results and then pay them while they’re not working. Testing is also not a foolproof method of guaranteeing safety in a particular workplace.”
Regardless, the NBA said in its health and safety protocols that the league, players union and Disney “will continue to monitor the ongoing coronavirus situation, including as local, state and national public health recommendations evolve, new or different technologies become available (e.g., related to diagnostic testing or contact tracing), and emerging evidence continues to inform best practices for prevention, control, and mitigation strategies.”
“We are continuing to work with Disney on the testing of at least a subset of their employees that could potentially be in the same room with our players and anyone else who’s tested daily on our campus,” Silver said. “So we are satisfied that once we work through those additional measures with Disney, we will continue to have a safe setting for us to resume our season.”
The NBA and Disney will find out soon enough whether they prepared for the chance of a lifetime.
Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.