Managing the Coronavirus in your Workplace
March 10, 2020
The coronavirus has taken the U.S. by surprise. What started out in early December as a small outbreak in Wuhan, China, is now an epidemic making its way throughout the world.COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new virus from the large family of coronaviruses that cause a range of illnesses, including the common cold. “CO” stands for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” “D” for “disease,” and 19 for 2019, when it was discovered.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?The CDC states that to the best of their knowledge the virus spreads mainly from person-to-person. Primarily between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
What Precautions Should Employees Take?Thoroughly washing your hands and maintaining typical hygiene practices are the main things everyone can do to prevent the spread.
How Long Do People Remain Sick/Contagious After Contracting COVID-19?In about 80 percent of cases, COVID-19 symptoms are mild and flu-like, requiring no special treatment for recovery. However, if you are an employer, you should expect about a two week absence for recovery time. In addition, employees should be symptom-free for at least 24 hours before returning to work.
Is There Anything Employers Can Do To Make The Workplace Safer?Yes there certainly is! A few recommendations from the WHO and industry experts include:
- Staggering shifts and workdays to limit the number of people in the workspace.
- Making sure cleaning crews are using agents compliant with CDC recommendations.
- Opening windows and doors whenever possible.