Advice for Businesses Operating During the COVID-19 Crisis
March 17, 2020 | As many in the toy industry are learning to adapt to a new normal amid the COVID-19 crisis, The Toy Association is working to continually update members with advice to help. In addition to those supplied on our resource page “What to Know About the Coronavirus & Toys,” we’ll be answering member questions in Toy News Tuesday.
Is That Toy A Coronavirus Carrier?
Eighty-four percent of today’s toys and games are imported from China, which for some consumers is raising concerns as to whether a package of toys could be carrying COVID-19 with it. Luckily, consumers can rest assure, and here’s how toymakers can best communicate that to their audiences:
There is still much to learn about how the virus is spread, but, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk is very low that the coronavirus can be contracted through products and packaging shipped to consumers’ doorsteps.
Thus far, research currently indicates that person-to-person contact remains the primary mode of transmission of COVID-19. The latest research, conducted by members of the National Institutes of Health, Princeton University, UCLA, and CDC, has shown the virus could linger on cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours and between two to three days on plastic and stainless steel on average. None of these times would be long enough for the virus to reach a consumer on a toy manufactured in China and shipped to the U.S., as almost all toys shipped into this U.S. are in transit a period of days or weeks before reaching consumers. Please also keep in mind that these laboratory results represent persistence of the virus under controlled, ideal conditions, and that persistence in the real world is likely to be somewhat shorter.
The Food and Drug Administration has further supported this assessment, adding that while the situation remains dynamic and guidance will continue to be updated, thus far there have been no reported cases of transmission from goods.
Should My Company Operate Remote?
As recently announced, The Toy Association has taken the precaution of having its staff work from home based on the recommendations of city, state, and federal officials, and many in the toy industry have already taken similar action.
While it is not up to us as an association to direct you how to operate your businesses, we suggest you refer to your own local and state officials and use their guidance. For example, some towns and cities have forced non-essential businesses to close. This will likely apply to brick-and-mortar toy stores. Additionally, CDC officials recommend no more than 50 should gather in one place and recommendations at the local and state level vary even more widely based on where your business may operate. How large is your business? Consider these things as it pertains to your operations. If your business can function as close to normalcy as possible while working remotely, guiding your employees to social distance themselves at this time can not only protect their health and safety, and those of your customers, but also help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Amazon Just Announced That It's Suspending Delivery on All Non-Essential Household Goods to Warehouses – Will This Affect My Business?
This temporary policy, in effect until April 5 as of now, will affect sellers whose shipments are stored and delivered through the Fulfillment by Amazon program and vendors who sell wholesale through Amazon. It will not impact sellers using Amazon services for last-mile shipments to consumers.
The plan was put in motion in order to alleviate the supply chain challenges currently being felt by Amazon due to a high demand for health and household essential products as well as groceries, baby products, and pet supplies. The Toy Association will continue to update its members on this topic as new developments unfold.
Do you have a business question you want to see answered here? Contact email@example.com to share your COVID-19 business questions.