How to reopen safely: Morrisville firm helps advise the world on going back to work after COVID

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- When global shipping giant FedEx needed advice on how to keep its workers safe and also keep their operations running during the pandemic, it turned to Morrisville based Vigilint for help.

Dr. Sean Siler's medical consultancy firm on Perimeter Park Drive is now helping lead the way for businesses worldwide on how to safely invite workers and customers back inside after abandoning workplaces over COVID-19.

"During this time of uncertainty trust is very important," Siler said. "Employers should try to do their best to assuage fears and to remove all uncertainty they possibly can."

Vigilint's advice on how businesses should reopen starts with getting an accurate assessment of your particular workplace. Also, analyze the type of work that goes on to determine the particular health risks faced.

Siler is telling his clients, their reopen plan can only work if employees feel involved in the planning, feel informed and feel safe.

"Concerns that we're hearing are, if companies are able to do enough to instill faith within their employees and truly do want to keep them as safe as possible," Siler said.

Eight days from the anticipated start of North Carolina's second phase of reopening, Governor Roy Cooper, Thursday, faced more questions on what "safe" looks like.

"We're working with a lot of those businesses along with health experts to determine the sole way for them to begin with limited reopenings," Cooper said.

Vigilent is advising companies to consider a variety of health checks for workers; from a list of health screening questions, to workplace temperature checks, to testing every individual and staffer that enters the office.

When ABC11 asked Siler if he believed North Carolina was ready to begin phase 2, he said, "It's hard to answer that question at my level. I know there's a lot of smart people above us that are watching this very very closely.

"I think this will be a very slow progress back into something that will be closer to normal. I don't think that we'll ever get back to the normal that we remember."

Nationally, The Centers for Disease Control and Infection, Thursday, released new, more detailed guidance on how states can safely allow businesses and schools to reopen their doors during the pandemic. The new guidelines come after an earlier set was blocked by the White House -- reportedly because they were too restrictive.
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