Who hasn’t heard about the coronavirus (COVID-19), especially for those in the epicenter of the virus in Washington State? As reports of this virus pandemic continue to spread, with cases and deaths continuing to climb in Snohomish and King Counties, it’s important for employers to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus. These common sense measures include: reminding employees of frequent handwashing, frequent cleaning of work areas and the need for communication should symptoms arise.
Below are some specific suggestions you can take and share with your employees to build awareness and prevent the spread of germs in your workplace:
- Closely monitor the situation and the status of the virus wherever you have employees and/or facilities.
- Encourage employees that feel ill and/or who have family members that are ill, especially with any respiratory-related illness or coronavirus symptoms (which includes congestion – nasal sinuses or lungs; runny nose; cough; sore throat; body aches; fatigue; and fever of 100.4+), or who have any coronavirus exposures, to bring those to your attention to conduct a risk assessment and to determine work-from-home and/or leave options.
- Provide employees with hand sanitizer, Kleenex, gloves and EPA registered environmental disinfectant (aka: Clorox wipes) to use.
- Identify key business functions, worst case pandemic impacts on those key functions and risk mitigating impacts to your business should the spread of this virus continue and a full pandemic be experienced.
Employers can also encourage employees with these reminders:
- If the employee is ill or has potentially been exposed, to identify possible work-from-home or leave options and to notify management or HR immediately;
- Increase handwashing regularly and use of alcohol-based sanitizer.
- To exercise coughing and sneezing etiquette, which includes covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; immediately disposing of that tissue in a waste basket; and if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Also, remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing; and
- To educate themselves about the coronavirus by visiting the CDC website.
Below are some informational videos that may be helpful to you and your employees about handwashing, eliminating the spread of germs, etc.;
- COVID-19 Stop the Spread of Germs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-lW0s2yJA0&feature=emb_title;
- 5 Steps to good handwashing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E7UkDlnvZA;
- How to properly wash hands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUiciBFdMj8;
Need help planning and/or communicating with your employees about the coronavirus? Contact us at JB Consulting Systems for assistance in pandemic planning approaches, drafting employee communication, leave options, etc.