Coronavirus: 4 Things to do to Prevent and Prepare for an Outbreak in Your Community
Understanding how the virus is spread is important. Health officials believe the virus can be passed from person to person via exchange of fluids from the respiratory tract, but still are not positive or know precisely how. The respiratory route seems likely because clusters of cases have been observed within families, whose members have had prolonged close contact with an infected person. The virus is “highly infectious.” The World Health Organization is advising countries that there is no one-size fits all approach with COVID-19. The Director-General of WHO emphasized that the virus is capable of community transmission but can be contained with the right measures1
!. WASH YOUR HANDS. Wash them often. Use soap and water and rub in for at least 20 seconds, we heard if you sing Happy Birthday 3 times, 20 seconds has passed. Especially wash your hands after going to the bathroom, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before you eat. Using soap and water is extremely more effective than using hand sanitizer. So, when you can use soap and water. If using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer make sure it has 60-95% alcohol.2
2. STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK. You are definitely not doing anyone any favors showing up at work sick. You increase the risk of spreading whatever has caused you to be sick to everyone in your office. It only takes one person to significantly spread a sickness. You cannot work to your full capacity when you are sick and will just need more time off. So please, if you are sick stay home, and take care of yourself, everyone in your office including you will be better off.3
3. ROUTINELY CLEAN FREQUENTLY TOUCHED SURFACES in your home and workplace including doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, countertops and workstations. A list of products with EPA approved emerging viral pathogens claims, maintained by the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC) is available at Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fighting Products.4 Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
4. CREATE A PLAN OF ACTION. More cases of the coronavirus are likely to be identified in the coming days and weeks. Preparing your family and having a plan in place for school closings, and other community closings can help everyone. Think of it the same way you would prepare for a snowstorm. If it hits you will be glad that you are ready. Do not hoard, stock your cupboard with extra food and cleaning supplies a little at a time. Buy a few extra items each time you shop, buying foods that are shelf stable or frozen. Make sure to have enough to last a few weeks.5