COVID19: HOW TO PREPARE AND TAKE ACTION AT WORK

There is still a lot to learn about the new coronavirus. Based on what we currently know, the virus is spread from person to person with close contact (within 1 or 2 meters). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. Till now, transmission from contaminated surfaces has not been documented. However, evidence suggests that the virus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces. Therefore, cleaning of surfaces followed by disinfection is the best measure for prevention.

HOW TO CLEAN AND DISINFECT

 

Surfaces:

  • If surfaces are dirty, they should first be cleaned with a detergent prior to disinfection
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% of alcohol and household disinfectants should be effective.
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tbsp (or 1/3 cup) of bleach per gallon of water, or
    • 4 tsp of bleach per quart of water

Linens, clothing and other items that go in the laundry

  • Do not shake items that are dirty or maybe contaminated, in order to prevent dispersing the virus.
  • Launder the items using the warmest appropriate program for your items, and let dry completely.

Cleaning staff

  • They should wear disposable gloves and gowns in the cleaning process.
  • Be sure to clean hands after removing gloves, using soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.

KEY TIMES TO CLEAN HANDS INCLUDE:

  • After blowing one’s nose, after coughing or sneezing
  • After using the restroom
  • Before eating or touching food
  • After contact with animals or pets
  • Before and after providing care for another person

SURFACES THAT SHOULD BE CLEANED EVERYDAY

  • Counters
  • Tabletops
  • Doorknobs
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Toilets
  • Phones
  • Tablets
  • Bedside tables

GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of symptom-altering medicine.
    • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick to validate their illness or to return to work, as in such context, healthcare providers’ offices and medical   facilities may be extremely busy with sick people.
    • Try to maintain a flexible policy that allows employees to stay home to care for a sick family member.
  • Separate sick employees who appear to have acute respiratory symptoms. Have them cover their noses and mouths
  • Create health etiquette and hand hygiene awareness
    • Place posters encouraging hygiene at the workplace
    • Provide tissues and disposable cutlery
    • Provide hand sanitizers at the entrance of the workplace
    • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces cn be wiped by employees before and after use.

Source: CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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