Since we have all heard so many varying media reports regarding the Coronavirus
(or COVID-19), we wanted to take a moment to outline FACTS you should know, and how it relates to workplace safety.
THE TOP 15 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Coronavirus is not a new virus; however, the COVID-19 strain of the virus is new.
- The virus presents itself as a respiratory disease, and symptoms occur 2-14 days AFTER exposure.
- Symptoms (present ranging from mild to severe) to watch for include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Facemasks are unnecessary unless you are the person with the virus. A facemask will NOT help you if you have not been infected or if you are well.
- COVID-19 has a 2% fatality rate.
- COVID-19, at the time of this article, was detected in 60 international locations, and the numbers are climbing.
- The spread of this virus is community-based, and an infected person often has been infected prior to showing any symptoms.
- The elderly and those with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, among others, are at a greater risk.
- The current risk level in the United States is LOW, according to the CDC.
- At this time, there is no available vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications are approved to treat it.
- As of February 2nd, 2020, all travel from foreign nationals who visited China in the past 14 days has been suspended.
- As of February 29th, 2020, all travel from foreign nationals who visited Iran in the past 14 days has been suspended.
- People who test positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms can isolate themselves at home to prevent the spread.
- The CDC still recommends getting a flu vaccine to stop the spread of additional illnesses.
- This situation will likely become worse, so it is up to everyone to do their part in controlling the spread of this and other viruses.
WORKPLACE SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Exercise caution. If you feel unwell and present a fever, isolate yourself at home.
- Ramp up housekeeping measures and practices to be proactive:
- Clean and disinfect surfaces daily and/or routinely utilizing disinfectant
cleaners which combat the Coronavirus.
- Clean “high touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs,
bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside
- Clean any surfaces that may have blood, body fluids, and/or secretions
or excretions on them.
- Follow cleaning product guidelines and recommendations.
- Wash laundry thoroughly, using the warmest temperatures
recommended on the clothing label.
- Limit congestive public settings as much as possible.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Monitor your own health for signs and symptoms and call your provider before going to a hospital or clinic to describe your symptoms and let them know that you may have come in contact with someone with COVID-19.
The purpose of this document is to inspire and guide employers to exercising proactive practices in maintaining a safe and healthful workplace which minimizes risk of exposure to viruses such as the Coronavirus to employees.
Safety Resources, Inc. and its employees are not licensed medical care providers; therefore, this material shall only be referenced as guidance and not as fact. If there is valid concern in the workplace, professional medical assistance shall be sought.
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