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24 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 nesses would be affected. There were a lot of discussions about which types of businesses were considered "essential" and how compa- nies should respond to that designation. Addi- tionally, there was discussion around how the city would manage the process and what could happen regarding the high level of poten- tial unemployment the pandemic might cre- ate. The biggest concern for everyone was the safety of our employees. For companies receiv- ing the designation of "essential business," the immediate thought was that we had employ- ees returning to work during a pandemic that was still unfolding on a global basis. As a CEO, this presented a very difficult situation, know- ing that we had employees working under very undesirable circumstances. This added a tre- mendous amount of stress as there was the ever-present question about our employees: How could we guarantee their safety while working? I was very nervous and apprehensive at the beginning, especially the first week when we brought people back to work. We did it grad- ually and increased the numbers slowly. We asked them to take their temperature, mak- ing sure that employees did not come to work if they had any symptoms that could be orders, we did not take it as seriously as we should have. We did react quickly by send- ing people home when the order was issued. The news about the spreading pandemic was uncertain, so we encouraged everyone to stay aware of the unfolding events and what was happening locally and around the world. We closed for approximately one week, waiting for input from the city leaders regarding shel- ter-in-place orders and how businesses should comply with the order. Throughout that week, I was on conference calls with the city leadership team and in multi- ple meetings with other CEOs in Silicon Valley. In the beginning, there was chaos and panic because the orders were confusing. There were more questions than answers regarding opera- tions, employee safety, the possible duration of this event, and what a recovery plan might look like. The leadership team did their best to respond, but it was clear this would be a lon- ger-lasting event than most people realized at the beginning. Initially, the orders were very specific regard- ing sheltering in place and what people were supposed to do in response. Gradually, we began to receive more answers about what would happen moving forward and how busi- Manufacturing floor at the Naprotek San Jose facility.

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