How to Keep A Workplace Safe: Likelihood of a COVID-19 Resurgence
As plans are being discussed at the federal and state levels on how and when to open businesses, many business owners are wondering two things: how they will keep their employees and customers safe; and the likelihood of a COVID-19 resurgence. Do you know what extra precautions you should take in addition to the guidelines being passed down by government officials?
First Things First: Maintain a Healthy Environment
There are some precautions you can take to ensure you provide a clean, healthy working environment for your employees and customers. Taking these simple steps will go a long way in minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
- Increase HVAC ventilation rates
- Increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates or consider opening windows for increased airflow
- Provide tissues, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and other necessary supplies to maintain proper hand hygiene
- Install signage that reaffirms and promotes good hygiene practices
- Install no-touch trash receptacles
- Discourage hand-to-hand contact
- Perform regular cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces
- Arm your employees with the most recent guidelines from the CDC
- Employ contactless payment methods (Apple Pay, Google Pay)
- Ensure employees have an adequate safe distance between desks or workstations
- Consider staggering the work schedule to keep occupancy low
- Consider requiring employees and customers to wear face masks when on-premises
- Take temperatures before each shift
- Modify equipment by installing foot hooks to swing open doors
- Place bright stickers on high-touch surfaces as a reminder to use caution
- Monitor employees’ health closely
- Keep a record of employee travel both personal and business to more easily contact trace
- Require all work travel be approved by management prior to booking
- Do not condone the sharing of equipment (phones, desks, computers, etc.)
- Revisit your emergency response plan to account for a positive case
Should Employees Increase Hand Washing Frequency?
Absolutely. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends your employees wash their hands under these circumstances:
- After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- After using the toilet
- After touching garbage
- Before and after the work shift
- Before and after work breaks
- After touching objects that have been handled by customers
Likelihood of a COVID-19 Resurgence
If we want to glean how a resurgence could unfold, we can look to China as an example. Keiji Fukuda, former assistant director-general for health security at the World Health Organization and a medical professor at the University of Hong Kong said, “The pandemic will work in waves. This is going to be a difficult situation for the next several months. I don’t think any of us believes this will resolve in the next six weeks or two months. Hong Kong is going to be affected by what’s going on in other regions and other countries.” Although China has taken great strides in quelling the spread of COVID-19 and observed far fewer deaths overall, recently they have seen an uptick in confirmed cases.
With normal flu cases typically increasing in the fall, it’s a valid concern that we could see an uptick in COVID-19 cases as well. According to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, “Without a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, those two overlaid could be very problematic.”
Others speculate it could be next winter until we see a resurgence if a vaccine is still not available. An interview with Gary W. Procop, MD, MS, MASCP, chair of the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Commission on Science, Technology, and Policy published by Becker’s Hospital Review says, “There is no reason to think that after the first wave of this virus passes that it will go away. In all likelihood there will be a resurgence next winter, so the development of a vaccine as well as effective therapeutic strategies are of critical importance.”
Workplace Coronavirus Cleaning & Disinfection
Disease outbreak is an extremely serious situation and Aftermath Services understands that the health and safety of you, your family, and employees are on the line. Don’t take any chances; call in the professionals when dealing with a confirmed COVID-19 case at your business location. For more information on our cleaning and disinfection procedures visit our COVID-19 webpage or call us directly for assistance at 877-769-6917.
Resources for Businesses
- Preparing Your Business and Employees
- Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease
- Reopening Your Business in Accordance with State and Federal Guidelines
- How to Ensure Your Employees Are Safe to Return to Work
- Your Employee Tested Positive for Covid-19. What Do You Do?