The Coronavirus pandemic is fast spreading across the globe, with the United States being among the countries worst hit by the outbreak of this disease. With this in mind, it is reasonably understandable that employers and employees are worried about how to curb the disease from spreading through the workplace.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Coronavirus or COVID-19 is classified as a severe respiratory illness. Like any other disease of this nature, the virus tends to spread through sneezing, coughing and touching contaminated objects or touching your face with contaminated hands.
Taking preventive measures such as washing hands with soap and water, using an alcohol-based sanitizer and keeping distance from other people, can help slow down the spread of this contagious disease at the office. Here are vital tips on how to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and limit exposure, for a germ-free workplace.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds is one of the most effective ways of killing germs and disease-causing pathogens like COVID-19. You should, therefore, encourage your employees to follow this guideline throughout the year.
According to the CDC, washing your hands with soap and water annihilates the Coronavirus and reduces the amounts of germs on our hands. Everyone in the office should wash hands:
- Before during and after preparing food
- Before and after eating
- After using the bathroom
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
- After handling pets
- After touching garbage
- After changing a child’s diapers
- If your hands are visibly dirty
In case soap and water are not available, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers is another viable option. The sanitizer should contain 60-95 percent alcohol for it to be effective in fighting the virus. Moreover, do not use the hand sanitizer if your hands are greasy or visibly dirty.
Clean Your Workstation
The Coronavirus spreads easily by touching contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, desks, workstations and other shared devices. With this in mind, employers should urge employees and cleaning crews to clean all frequently touched surfaces using appropriate disinfectants. In addition, employers should provide each worker with disposable wipes to help in keeping commonly used surfaces clean.
Cleaning of surfaces should be in one direction rather than in a back-and-forth or circular direction. This is to prevent the redeposit of germs onto already wiped areas.
Observe Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette
Viruses like the COVID-19 spread through coughing, sneezing and touching surfaces containing infected secretions or droplets. Considering this, it is important to practice good etiquette such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Avoid sneezing or coughing into your hands. Instead, use disposable tissue when sneezing or cough into your sleeve to prevent the spread of germs. Remember to dispose the used tissue into a wastebasket as soon as you can.
If you are feeling unwell, avoid close contact with other people and distance yourself as much as possible. You may request for sick-leave and work remotely from home as a way of curbing the spread of the virus.