COVID-19: A Note from Jake Heimark, Co-founder & CEO, 3/18/2020
March 18, 2020
We are seeing extraordinary measures to curb the virus taken at both a local and state level, in a public-private partnership that is unprecedented in my lifetime. We are seeing federal, state and local guidance that is quickly adapting to meet this unique crisis. At PLUS, we are quickly adapting and rolling out new policies and procedures to match these directives, while always focusing on our top priority: protecting the health and safety of our employees and our customers.
I thought it important to update you on some of the actions we are taking at PLUS to make sure we are protecting our employees and the public in both the short and the long run. The speed of change in responding to this crisis means by the time you read this letter, some parts of it may be out of date.
At PLUS, on March 3rd, we moved all internal-only meetings that required travel to virtual sessions. On March 10th, we banned all internal and external visitors to our manufacturing facilities with the exception of government officials. Yesterday, we proactively adopted mandatory work from home policies for all of our offices and field employees. We have shut down manufacturing operations in Nevada until further notice, and, to the best of our ability, we have created an “isolation pod” around our main manufacturing facility in Adelanto, California. We have asked those who are in sensitive groups to stay home, and suspended our caps on sick leave for the duration of this crisis. Our HR and operations team, with the help of our health insurance providers at East West Administrators, have been working night and day to make sure we meet the childcare, elderly care and other needs of all of our employees.
As a food company, our first thought and actions were to protect physical health and safety. Our operations have always had best-in-class personal protective equipment, food safety, and hazard control programs, and we were prepared to quickly adjust to this crisis.
Now, our management team is focusing on addressing the mental health and safety of our employees and partners. It appears this is only the beginning of what will be a protracted battle with this virus. We rarely discuss mental health in this country, and a lot of people are feeling quite a bit of unease with this crisis. We are doing what we can to help. On Monday, we hosted our first company-wide “lunch session” where we all log in a videoconference room just to spend time with one another. We had our second session today - and they seem to be keeping morale high. We are checking in with our partners on both sides of our supply chain to make sure that they are also taking care of one another.
We will continue to keep you updated via this blog - expect to hear from a few of our team members.
Stay safe out there!