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COVID-19 – The evolution of a pandemic and impacts on business continuity

Tuesday 14th July, 2020
Written by Dr Rebecca Hoile, Senior Manager RiskLogic

July marks six months since the COVID-19 outbreak commenced and four months since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Today, the pandemic continues to surge across the globe with many countries and regions experiencing ongoing community transmission and increased cluster cases, reminding us that we still have a long way to go before the return to pre-COVID life.

Throughout this time, RiskLogic has been at the forefront, assisting organisations and businesses with business continuity management throughout every phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with national and international experts, we’ve used our collective 50+ years of experience in organisational resilience to help businesses build a robust pandemic management framework, provided crisis and leadership teams with strategies and tools during each phase, as well as making best practice guidance and advice publicly available.

The COVID-19 pandemic evolution

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift globally and cities come back to life, businesses should be on hyperalert and well-prepared for cluster outbreaks. Why? The World Health Organisation (WHO) has made comment on the evolution of the pandemic and the long journey ahead. That we are likely to see this first wave, with some countries still experiencing exponential growth, followed by a series of smaller waves over the next one to two years. Essentially, this pandemic is not over until a suitable vaccine is discovered

For many countries, the future will be managing cluster cases. Some small and some large, as we’re seeing now, rapidly escalating in Victoria, Australia.

While a cluster has significant health and human impacts, it also has significant impacts for businesses: operationally, financially, and even reputational.

While COVID-19 clusters are managed by Health authorities, there are two key things that businesses can do to support Health and their own business continuity:

  1. Utilise available tools such as the Johns Hopkins COVID risk tool to reduce potential risk of experiencing a cluster.
  2.  Implement a cluster management framework for business.

Optimising Business Continuity

To help businesses identify and respond to COVID-19 cluster outbreaks, RiskLogic and Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security have collaborated, to deliver an online COVID-19 workshop. The workshop will provide participants with a deeper understanding of clusters and impacts to business, and how businesses can reduce risk and assist health authorities through the development of a Cluster Management Framework tailored to each organisation or business.

This pandemic requires organisational change and a fundamental shift in business continuity management as we learn to evolve to our new way of life and business environment. Learn more about the COVID-19 workshop: cluster management for businesses.