Simple Precautions to Keep Your Workplace Healthy and Safe
As news reports continue to raise alarm bells about Coronavirus and how contagious it can be, we tend to forget that we are still in the height of the common cold and flu season. CDC statistics* as of February 8, 2020, show that at least 26 million US residents have contracted influenza and it has claimed more than 14,000 deaths already since October 2019. Personal health and safety concerns have risen to a new level – as we add in international travel and potential exposure to those who may have been exposed to the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease). It is important to know the facts about how viruses can be spread and what we can do to help ensure a safe workplace for employees.
Here are four facts known about Coronavirus as of today:
- The incubation period for the Coronavirus is 2-14 days. This means that one can be a carrier of the virus without showing any signs or symptoms.
- Symptoms include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath
- It is spread from animal to animal or person to person. The Coronavirus is believed to be spread through respiratory droplets via coughing or sneezing.
- Unfortunately, there is no known vaccination or preventative at the time of this blog, therefore, the best way to avoid becoming exposed is to stay clear of those who may be carriers of the virus.
Remind your employees of these five best practices to stay free of cold and flu viruses and prevent the spread:
- Good hygiene - wash one’s hands for at least 20-seconds (or sing Happy Birthday) twice.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose with unclean hands
- Use a tissue when coughing or sneezing to cover your nose and mouth
- Apply antibacterial/disinfectants on frequently touched surfaces
- Avoid contact with individuals who are sick
Four important actions you can take to keep your workplace safe in the long term:
- Follow local public health recommendations
- Educate and inform all employees of proper infection control procedures
- Reinforce personal hygiene (hand and cough) throughout your organization and provide and train on personal protective equipment for employees
- Encourage employees to remain at home if they feel ill
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is constantly updating its recommendations and guidelines regarding the Coronavirus epidemic. If one believes that they are becoming or have become infected, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. For more information, watch EcoLab’s webinar on the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease).
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