How to Tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19) with Planning, Response, and Recovery
The news cycle surrounding coronavirus has surged from mild interest to live reports of fights at Costco to overall mass hysteria. The impact of coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, has made tremors around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel advisories for China, Iran, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The CDC has recommended postponing any travel or cruises to or around Asia and many corporations are canceling all international travel.
As officials are preparing the plans to tackle the issue, the people must take proactive measures to protect themselves. Keep in mind that the virus affects the elderly and sick more than the average healthy individual. That means we must be proactive in educating those that are at risk and informing them to stay in, stay healthy, and keep up with hygiene. The most conventional wisdom is the best in this case: wash your hands thoroughly and often.
How is the Coronavirus Spreading?
The CDC has issued a warning for Americans to be prepared for the COVID-19 to become a pandemic as more cases arise in the United States. COVID-19 passes easily from person to person within 6 feet. COVID-19 travels through cough, sneeze, and touch of affected surfaces like door handles.
China’s lockdown and containment of the affected areas gave the world several weeks to put up defenses, but that has not been able to stop the spread of COVID-19. New cases are popping up all around the world, including the United States where testing is starting to become more widely available. Los Angeles has now declared a State of Emergency as of March 4th, 2020. As more social media posts and unreliable bloggers write articles, misinformation is becoming increasingly common leading to irrational behavior at large. Allied Restoration always recommends staying informed with only the official statements being released by credible sources such as the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO).
Epidemics are outbreaks of disease confined to a particular region or country, but when they spread and cross regions, they can be considered pandemics. Experts like Amesh Adalja from John Hopkins University Center for Health Security are suggesting that If the containment strategy is not working, we move to mitigation. Officials say that the next three weeks are going to be critical in terms of what will happen. We should have more clarity of the scope by Mid-March.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Spreading the Disease?
As a professional restoration company, Allied Restoration handles bacteria such as mold and harmful bio-hazards such as asbestos, and lead on a daily basis. Some tips to reduce the risk of spreading the disease:
- Monitor and regulate the humidity of your property by setting up dehumidifiers as needed.
- Maintain clean air filters inside the property by changing out the filters on your Air Conditioning and vents at least quarterly (especially during this time).
- Regulate the temperatures of your property. At low temperatures, bacteria thrive and the human body fights infections better when it is warm.
- Encourage those that are sick to contain themselves and not spread it at work or public places.
- In your workplace, develop protocols for telecommuting (especially for those who display any symptoms).
- Install sanitary stations (many hand sanitizers are effective against COVID-19) in frequently touched or visited areas.
- Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose
- Keep all surfaces clean in the common areas
How Will the Coronavirus Impact Businesses and What Can You Do?
Most businesses aren’t prepared for their offices to be compelled to be shut down or to have half of their workforce unable to show up on any given day. Both of these challenges become more real in the face of a pandemic. There are steps that can be taken and remedies that can be employed quickly in the event of an area being contaminated with the virus.
Restoration companies are stepping up to a more proactive approach in performing mitigation and cleaning of commercial businesses, schools and public spaces up to the standards of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certifications (IICRC).
What should you do if someone got infected with Coronavirus in your office, business, or home?
The most important public responsibility we all have is to do everything we can to prevent spreading the virus. If someone in your home or business is infected with the virus, immediately contain the situation and make sure everyone that has interacted with him or her sees a professional healthcare provider. Protecting your organization and your community against the threat of infectious diseases is the priority. In the event of a pandemic threat, businesses that plan for the potential threat will play an important role in protecting their employees’ health and safety.
If someone in your area has been affected, be sure to either use cleaning products that have been approved by the EPA for use against enveloped pathogens like COVID-19 (a complimentary list can be found here) or call a certified cleaning company like Allied Restoration for a complimentary consultation.