From the ANSI President: ANSI Announces Precautionary Measures amid Coronavirus Pandemic From the ANSI President: ANSI Announces Precautionary Measures amid Coronavirus Pandemic
ANSI Announces Precautionary Measures amid Coronavirus Pandemic
ANSI Logo Message from S. Joe Bhatia,
President and Chief Executive Officer

First Quarter, 2020
S. Joe Bhatia

Dear colleagues,

The health, safety, and well-being of our staff, members, and standards community partners are paramount at ANSI. The spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) around the globe and here in the U.S. is a public health emergency of growing urgency, and the World Health Organization has now declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. In view of the significant health risks posed by COVID-19, ANSI has put in place several precautions consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations for strategies that businesses may implement to protect their employees and guests.

Specifically, until further notice, ANSI is making virtual attendance available for all upcoming meetings and conferences that will be hosted by or in the facilities of ANSI and its affiliates, the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and Workcred, Inc. (Workcred). In addition, no individuals will be permitted to attend any ANSI, ANAB, or Workcred meetings in person if, at any point during the previous 14 days, they have traveled from or been in contact with someone who has traveled from an area with widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission, including but not limited to the localities the CDC has identified as being a Level 1 through 3 risk. These individuals will be permitted and encouraged to attend meetings remotely, technology permitting. We are also making such remote attendance an option for any attendee who chooses not to attend in person.

Additionally, in light of the state of emergency issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 7, 2020, where there are currently approximately 330 confirmed cases of coronavirus – and in consideration of Governor Cuomo’s and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recommendation that employees in New York work from home if they are able to do so – I have approved and implemented a temporary work-from-home policy for ANSI employees in the New York Office. This decision was taken in consultation with the Chair of ANSI’s Board of Directors to ensure the safety of our employees, the continuity of ANSI’s operations, and to help minimize the potential spread of the virus by reducing the number of people taking mass transit in New York. We have asked all employees, including ANSI NY office employees who do not choose to work from home immediately under the temporary policy described above, to determine if they can effectively work from home in the near future and for a protracted period if the situation requires.

If public health conditions worsen in the NY area or in other areas where ANSI and its affiliates are located, ANSI's workplace policy may be extended to other locations, or further amended. Such actions would be taken to address the effects of more widespread illness or absences, more frequent needs for self-isolation, school closings, and the like.

Beyond protecting the health and safety of our own staff and ANSI participants, ANSI and the standards community has always eagerly stepped up to address national and global health and safety issues, and the challenge presented by COVID-19 is no different. We are already seeing many instances of the critical role of standards-based activities in supporting health and safety initiatives. As ANSI reported, IAPMO, the American Chemistry Council, and the National Institutes of Health have issued COVID-19-related guidance and resources. And as the Institute also highlighted, the CDC has referenced standards from AAMI, NFPA, and ASTM International for recommended personal protective equipment for healthcare personnel; and BOMA International and ASHRAE have also released guidance for building owners and HVAC systems.

Such efforts among the ANSI Federation continue to grow, and ANSI is as committed as ever to supporting the important work of the standards and conformity assessment community to help meet the current challenge. Please let us know how your organization is contributing, and how ANSI might be able to help.

We are closely monitoring developments relating to COVID-19 and will post updated announcements here as circumstances evolve. I also encourage you to visit CDC’s website for the latest information regarding the coronavirus disease, as well as information on prevention and travel precautions.

Best regards,

Bhatia Signature

Joe Bhatia

As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system,
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen
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