Abstract Paper aims This paper aims at investigating the efficacy of fast-response measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in an essential service organization that continued to operate despite the pandemic. Originality Although the number of studies associated with COVID-19 has grown exponentially, insufficient attention has been paid to how organizations should rapidly respond to overcome the trade-off between worker’s health and economic activity. Research method A five-step case study design is carried out in this research. The efficacy of measures is assessed through the amplitude and agreement level among respondents as well as a statistical comparative analysis to evidence the significance of the results. Main findings Our findings indicate that the mitigation measures implemented within the factory were well-accepted by employees and empirical evidence attests to the efficacy of the actions implemented, even though further studies are needed. Implications for theory and practice The study expands the literature about Business Continuity Planning and highlights the Evaporating Cloud (a tool of the Theory of Constraints) as a mechanism to broaden the capacity to analyze conflicts. For practitioners, this research presents a useful body of knowledge to deal with trade-offs at the enterprise-level.