As of March 26, 2020, we are not aware of any SPH Analytics teammates who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus or who have developed COVID-19. We continue to monitor CDC, federal, state, and local communication channels and comply with all public health orders and guidelines in the jurisdictions where we have business offices.
There are now Shelter in Place directives in multiple states, cities, and counties where we have business offices. All these directives include provisions for Essential Businesses to continue in-person operations. We have reviewed these directives, consulted with several of our large healthcare industry clients, and made a good-faith determination that our services constitute an Essential Business. Where the relevant authorities have provided a mechanism for us to communicate with them regarding our designation as an Essential Business, we have done so.
To be clear, all our teammates who have the capability to work remotely are now doing so. In several of our business offices, 100% of the staff are working from home. In our Call Centers and Mail Centers, however, many of our teammates do not have the capability to do their jobs remotely. We have designated these teammates and a handful of additional teammates (such as certain key members of our Information Technology, Human Resources, and Payroll functions) as Essential Personnel.
In all cases, we are restricting on-site staff to the minimum necessary personnel to carry out Essential Operations and to serve our healthcare industry clients. Our remaining office-based operations, including the Call and Mail Centers, continue to meet or exceed all the CDC’s recommendations and public health guidelines, including physical distancing, multiple sanitizing and disinfecting passes per day and in particular at the beginning and ending of each shift, access control procedures that maintain physical distance (no lines to enter/exit buildings, no gathering in break rooms, no visitors, and so forth). We are using space in our nearby business offices where and as needed to ensure that we operate our Call Centers with the required minimum distance between teammates. We are also actively investigating work-from-home options for call center agents.
We continue to maintain an active dialogue with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) about the status of regulatory programs for which we are a certified or approved vendor.
As of March 19, 2020, all our business offices, call centers, and mail facilities remain open with minimal impact to our business operations and no loss of business continuity. We are not aware of any SPH teammates who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus or who have developed COVID-19. We continue to follow our Pandemic Response Plan, which we formally activated on February 26, 2020. The Executive Leadership Team of SPH Analytics has implemented strict measures for the protection of our teammates and the communities where we work and live, as well as to minimize any disruption for the clients who depend on our services.
Since our last public update, we have prohibited all non-essential outside personnel from entering any of our office locations. All teammates who have the capability to work remotely have been instructed to do so, other than staff needed to maintain essential operations and ensure the maintenance of our key infrastructure. We continue to restrict business travel and regularly remind our teammates about hygiene best practices, including hand washing and social distancing measures.
Where we still have staff working on-site, we have regular cleaning and sanitizing protocols in place, including all doorknobs, keyboards, mice, and other hard surfaces. We have instituted mandatory social distancing measures, including controlling access to breakrooms and bathrooms to maintain low density in these communal spaces, and we have rearranged seating and workstations to ensure a safe minimum distance between teammates, in line with public health guidance. Where we run multiple shifts, we have instituted additional cleaning procedures at the beginning and end of each shift. Our Pandemic Response Team meets daily and we continue to monitor all official statements made by governmental and public health authorities in the cities, counties, and states where we operate.
We are actively communicating with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) about the status of regulatory programs for which we are a certified or approved vendor, and have an open dialogue with them regarding regulatory protocols and procedures.
As of March 13, 2020, all our business offices and call centers remain open and are conducting normal operations. In addition to the previously announced measures, over the past several days SPH Analytics has taken additional steps in line with our Pandemic Response Plan. Business travel is now prohibited for all SPH employees without direct Executive Leadership Team approval. Employees who choose to make personal trips to any area under a U.S. State Department Level 4 or Level 3 travel advisory, a CDC Level 3 travel advisory, or a specific “containment zone” declared by local authorities, must receive permission from their manager and Human Resources before they will be allowed to return to work at any of our offices. We are also discouraging outside visitors to our offices, except for pre-approved vendors and subcontractors. We have encouraged teammates to take “social distancing” measures in accordance with public health guidance. Our Pandemic Response Team is fully staffed at all business locations, including a point of contact for remote employees.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have warned us to expect community spread of the novel coronavirus (which causes the illness known as COVID-19) in the United States. In the interest of protecting the well-being of our teammates, clients, suppliers, and the communities where we operate, our Executive Leadership Team has activated a series of precautionary measures. This public statement is intended to reassure all our stakeholders that we are taking appropriate measures in response to the unfolding situation.
SPH Analytics is prepared for a wide variety of outcomes. Our priorities are to keep our teammates and their families safe, to provide uninterrupted service and support to the clients that depend on our solutions, and to ensure that we do not inadvertently contribute to the spread of COVID-19. We have adopted precautionary measures, we have activated an internal Pandemic Response Team comprising executive leadership and representatives from all functions of the company and all business locations, and we stand ready to enact further emergency response protocols that could be triggered based upon the spread and impact of the virus.
As of March 5, 2020, all our business offices and call centers remain open and are conducting normal operations. SPH Analytics has business operations and/or call centers in Alpharetta, GA; Arlington, VA; Branford, CT; Chicago, IL; Duluth, GA; Farmington Hills, MI; and Fort Worth, TX. We also have remote teammates in a variety of other locations around the United States. We continue to monitor the situation in each location and, in consultation with local, regional, and national public health authorities, will make determinations about each business office and call center on a case-by-case basis.
We have distributed information regarding the coronavirus to all SPH teammates in all our business offices and call centers, including remote employees. This guidance is based on preventive health measures recommended by governmental authorities and health organizations including the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). Our guidance to teammates addresses hygiene best practices and ways to diminish susceptibility as well as suggestions for proactively planning how one might handle various potential scenarios (e.g., schools being closed). We maintain a hotline that any teammate can call if they have questions or concerns, and SPH employees who participate in the company’s health insurance plan have access to telemedicine services.
We have secured extra sanitization supplies and have distributed them to all locations. This includes hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in quantities sufficient to enable all high-traffic / high-touch areas of our facilities, such as doorknobs and telephone handsets, to be sanitized multiple times per day.
We are discouraging all non-essential business travel by our teammates. Although the risk of exposure due to domestic travel within the United States remains low according to the CDC, we are asking our teams, clients, and partners to strongly consider replacing in-person meetings with telephone and video conferences whenever feasible. We will also continue to evaluate all meetings and events that are to include bringing visitors into our offices, using the same discretion we would use regarding our own participation in meetings at other locations.
We have work-from-home policies in place for those teammates whose job responsibilities allow remote work. Many of our teammates are already full-time remote, and for those based in our business offices, we have asked all managers to review the readiness and capability of their teams to work remotely.
We have reviewed our relationships with contractors and suppliers as per our Vendor Management Program and are taking steps to ensure additional coverage is available if we need it. In the event that one or more of our business locations is forced to operate at a reduced level of efficiency due to illness among our staff or decisions made by local public health authorities, we believe that we have sufficient capacity to maintain our commitments to clients, either by redistributing work to our other locations or through the use of third-party subcontractors. All use of subcontractors will be performed in compliance with our contractual commitments to clients, including information security and geographic requirements as well as written approval by clients where required.
We are following the Pandemic Response Plan that was already in place as part of our company-wide Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan (BCP). The steps that we have taken so far are in line with the steps outlined in our Pandemic Response Plan. SPH Analytics does not consider the current situation in any of our business locations to meet the definition of a “disaster” and we have not formally activated the BCP, but we are prepared to do so if necessary. Our plan contains provisions for maintaining both physical (site) security and logical (information) security in the event of a widespread disruption at one or more of our business locations.
We are actively monitoring the situation. Each of our business locations is following the statements and guidance of its local health officials, and we are monitoring the statements and guidance from the CDC and other authorities. We don’t yet know how severe the impact of COVID-19 will be. We hope that its effects will be limited, but we are taking the necessary precautionary steps and we will continue to update this statement as circumstances warrant.