COVID-19 And Your Office: What You Need To Know

COVID-19, or coronavirus as it is more commonly known, has recently generated quite a lot of concern. It is important to know that in general, the risk posed by the virus is quite low. It is estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that of those who contract the illness, only 3.4% will pass. When compared to SARS, which had a mortality rate of 9.6%, the risk of grave harm to your staff and customers is quite low. The risk of passing away from this illness goes down substantially if you are under the age of 80 and do not live with preexisting conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension or cancer.

However, the annual flu has a mortality rate of only 0.1%, making the coronavirus much more deadly than the common flu. Aside from the worst-case scenario of death, nobody wants to catch and live with the symptoms of the flu! Living through that is challenging and quite unpleasant. The impact on your business’ productivity could be profound. Imagine a 14-day “Snow-mageddon” and the real impact of a mass outbreak of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island becomes much more real.

In the face of misinformation and panic, or the contrarian dismissive denial, we believe being informed and having a plan is best.

Let’s Get Informed

The symptoms for COVID 19 may be mild to more serious and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

Once exposed to the virus, it may take up to 14 days to show signs and symptoms. During this time, the virus can still be spread through coughing or sneezing (the small droplets of saliva carry and pass on the virus) and personal contact such as touching an infected surface (be it a hand or handle) and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands. These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.

Have a Plan

Employers and employees have a role to play in reducing the spread of infection. Below are some tips and tricks for keeping your office healthy and safe to limit any potential outbreaks in our communities.

General Advice

  • Increase awareness about COVID-19 through communication with staff.
  • Evaluate the workplace for areas where people have frequent contact with each other and shared objects.
  • Increase the distance between desks and workstations as well as employees and customers (ideally 2 metres).
  • A physical barrier like a cubicle or Plexiglas window also works to increase the distance between people.

Workplace Hygiene

  • Encourage frequent hand hygiene, sneeze and cough etiquette, and staying home when ill.
  • Consider providing additional tissues should someone develop symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If COVID-19 symptoms develop, the employee should immediately be separated from others and sent home without using public transit, if possible.
  • Provide access to handwashing areas and place hand sanitizing dispensers in prominent locations throughout the workplace, if possible.

Ensure frequent cleaning, with particular attention to high-touch surfaces, such as:

  • Desks
  • Phones
  • Kitchens
  • Computers
  • Cash registers
  • Elevator buttons
  • Restaurant tables and menus
  • Door handles
  • Toilets
  • Taps
  • Light switches

 

Select Janitorial is here to handle that last bit. Professional janitorial and office cleaning services are more important now than ever, especially if your staff or clients are elderly or immune-compromised. We can all do our part to keep our communities healthy and safe, and ensuring that your business is kept sanitized and clean is an easy way to help prevent the spread of disease.

Call us today to set up your professional janitorial services. We will develop a custom schedule that fits the needs of your business!

Coronavirus is real, but is nothing to panic over. With good information and a solid plan, this too shall pass. And maybe through this time of prevention, good hygiene habits can be formed that will help each of us now and in the future. During this time and the times to come, Select Janitorial is here to help in any way we can!

 

 

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