North Carolina businesses, events carry on with caution amid coronavirus concerns

Andrea Blanford Image
Monday, March 9, 2020
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NC businesses carry on with caution amid coronavirus concerns

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Amid coronavirus concerns, some of the Triangle's biggest employers are altering plans and changing work-from-home policies.

Raleigh's own Red Hat said in an online notice it's rebuilding its annual Red Hat Summit into a virtual experience in light of the coronavirus.

"We are taking this precautionary measure after closely monitoring developments with coronavirus (COVID-19) and guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities," the notice reads.


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An employee told ABC11 it's been left up to managers and employees to decide what's best for each worker.

At Cisco, an employee told ABC11 her team is not required to be in the RTP office unless it's for a meeting, and that's only if they feel comfortable showing up in person.

David Henshall, President and CEO of Citrix published a blog Monday outlining the company's actions it's taking to prepare the business and its customers for maintaining safe, secure, and uninterrupted operations throughout the global COVID-19 crisis.

Citrix is suspending more of its non-business-critical travel to include within the U.S. and Europe, and extending its Work From Home policies to encourage employees in Washington State, Oregon, and California to do so if possible.

On Wednesday, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is still scheduled to host its IT Summit at the Raleigh Convention Center.

However, spokesperson Austin Vevurka told ABC11 that BCBS has been working with convention center staff to provide additional hand sanitizing stations and expanded cleaning protocols.

BCBS also said it has canceled some of the presenters who had to fly in for the summit, opting to replace them with its own internal employees to conduct the presentations.

As for other large gatherings happening this week, the City of Raleigh has confirmed the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is still on for Saturday in downtown.

Also on Saturday, the NC High School Athletic Association is still prepared to host the Basketball State Championships at NC State University and UNC Chapel Hill.

The following is a statement from NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker:

Each day more information is being shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relative to Coronavirus (COVID-19), and how it is impacting our country. Be assured that the NCHSAA is monitoring the latest information. Currently we are planning for the State Basketball Championships, while the spring sports season is underway. At this time, there are no plans to cancel or suspend any sports.

As we prepare for the state basketball championships this weekend, and as spring sports continue, we are asking participants, game officials, staff and fans to take individual responsibility to help prevent the spread of illnesses. As recommended by CDC, the following are steps that should be taken regardless of the illness:

  • Stay home when you are sick (check to see if your game is being televised or streamed)
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your cough with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (i.e. the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday "twice); especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, using a regular household cleaner or wipe

Please be assured that the NCHSAA is committed to the health and safety of each person who participates in our programs. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide necessary information as it becomes available to us.