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Sysco's Response to Coronavirus

Across our global operations Sysco is closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and we have taken strong action to protect the safety of our associates and customers, to ensure business continuity and continue to service our customers.

President and CEO Kevin Hourican in the News

President and CEO Kevin Hourican in the News

Sysco's COVID-19 Response

Sysco has closely monitored developments of the COVID-19 pandemic as the situation has evolved. Leading this effort has been our senior management team supported by our Crisis Management Team (CMT), which consists of a cross functional group of leaders, including risk, health and business continuity experts.

Throughout this year, we have continuously evolved our approach to create new processes and guidelines to keep associates and customers safe, with careful consideration to remain aligned with guidance from relevant health authorities, such as the WHO and the CDC. We have:

  • Activated our pandemic planning protocols, which define procedures to protect the health and safety of our associates, while ensuring business continuity and our ability to service our customers. Our pandemic plan includes recommendations for providing safe deliveries when necessary, including procedures to limit or eliminate contact between our drivers and customers’ employees.
  • Thoroughly briefed our associates about the CDC and WHO recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as by practicing proper hand-washing hygiene and safe use of PPE.
  • Proactively reinforced our policy that requires associates not report to work if they are showing signs of flu-like illness, and to seek medical attention as necessary.
  • Implemented a protocol for daily temperature checks and health screening for all associates not working from home, as well as a health screening process for visitors, will call, packaging couriers, and suppliers.
  • Implemented investigation and notification procedures for situations where a colleague tests positive for COVID-19, including Standard Operating Procedures for cleaning and disinfecting areas these colleagues worked.
  • Implemented a “return to work” protocol that applies to any associate who may have potentially been exposed to the virus.
  • Begun providing masks, face coverings, gloves, hand washing stations and hand sanitizer to all associates.
  • Implemented a requirement that our associates wear face coverings when visiting all customer locations, whether indoors or outdoors; at other business-related interactions where social distancing cannot be maintained, in Sysco buildings where social distancing cannot be maintained, and when required under local law/ordinance.
  • Provided guidelines for proper social distancing in our offices and warehouses.
  • Halted all domestic and international travel and associates may only travel for truly business-critical reasons.
  • Cancelled or postponed our attendance at large group meetings of more than 10 people, as well as any food shows Sysco may host.
  • Developed an alternative process to avoid collecting signatures for customer invoices and guidelines for safely accepting product returns.
  • All associates who are able, are working remotely, where applicable.
  • Revised our health benefit plans to pay for associate COVID-19 testing, if necessary.
  • Implemented a phased approach and detailed guidance for all global Sysco locations to determine when and how to allow associates to safely return to work.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that was first detected in Wuhan, China. It is spread from person-to-person and symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms can appear as little as two days, or as long as 14 days, after exposure.


How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads primarily through contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when a person, for example, coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.


Is it safe to handle cases of food or receive a package from any area where Coronavirus has been reported?

According to the CDC and WHO, COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. Therefore, following good hygiene practices are critical.


Can I contract COVID-19 from food?

According to CDC and WHO, COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person and there is currently no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.


Who should I reach out to if I have additional questions?

Please reach out to your Sysco representative if you have any questions or concerns about this matter or the actions we’re taking to protect our associates, customers and our business. 


What can I do to stop the spread of COVID-19?

Actions you can take to prevent getting or spreading COVID-19 are simple, but very effective:

  • Wear a mask or face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Wash your hands often to help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home from work, school and errands if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Practice other good health habits: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.


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