Project CatalystSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Santa Clara County has released new public guidance.
  • The Health Department has asked that companies cancel travel and events.
  • Apple has yet to announce if WWDC will be canceled.

Doubt continues to be cast on if Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference will occur this year due to rising concerns around coronavirus. Reported by The Verge, the Public Health Department of Santa Clara County in California has issued new guidance that asks companies like Apple to further restrict employee travel and cancel large events.

The first piece of guidance focuses on employee working situations. The Health Department has asked companies to figure out ways for their employees to work without coming into close contact with large groups of people. Some of the recommendations ask for employers to:

  • Suspend nonessential employee travel.
  • Minimize the number of employees working within arm's length of one another, including minimizing or canceling large in-person meetings and conferences.
  • Urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.
  • Not require a doctor's note for employees that are sick as healthcare offices may be very busy and unable to provide that documentation right away.
  • Consider use of telecommuting options for appropriate employees.
  • Consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time.

The second piece of guidance focuses on public events. Santa Clara Valley has now formally asked that companies and organizations either postpone or cancel mass gatherings or large community events. If an event must be held, they've recommended the following:

  • Urge anyone who is sick to not attend.
  • Encourage those who are at higher risk for serious illness to not attend.
  • Try to find ways to give people more physical space so that they aren't in close contact as much as possible.
  • Encourage attendees to follow increased hygiene, such as:
  • Washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch
  • Avoid close contact with other people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Covering their cough or sneeze with a tissue - if available - or into their elbow
  • Clean surfaces with standard cleaners.

The action by Santa Clara County further calls into question as to whether or not Apple will choose to host WWDC in person this year. Google, by comparison, canceled its in-person Google I/O conference and is said to working on a way to host the conference digitally.