As most business owners know, COVID-19 (commonly known as coronavirus) is a serious viral pandemic causing worldwide healthcare issues and the closing of businesses across America. At the time this article was written, there is no cure for COVID-19, and hundreds of thousands have lost their lives or loved ones due to its effect.
The virus presents with flu-like symptoms including a cough, difficulty breathing, and persistent fever. However, it can cause more serious respiratory issues that are fatal in some cases. While there are many reported cases of full recovery, the lack of current scientific knowledge about the disease has led many countries around the world to take precautions including the closure of nonessential business and the cancellation of large events. These precautions are in an effort to slow the spread of the virus until it can be effectively treated.
The United States has made a conscious effort to reduce the risk of coronavirus by asking businesses and groups to practice social distancing and close if needed to keep the citizens safe. As the country works together to protect citizens against COVID-19, your business can take part by following these precautions:
Educate, Protect, and Prevent
If you are a facility manager or owner, you can do your part by providing up-to-date information to your employees and building tenants. Provide them with easily accessible information on what COVID-19 means for your business, and ways that they can keep themselves safe while inside your building. The Center for Disease Control has made the following recommendations to help reduce individual risk:
- Wash your hands with soap for up to 20 seconds at a time whenever you make contact with another person
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue and immediately wash your hands afterward
- Avoid contact with any person showing symptoms of COVID-19
- Thoroughly disinfect your home or workspace
- Use protective equipment (facemasks) ONLY if you are diagnosed or are showing symptoms of COVID-19
- Practice social distancing when out in public to avoid contact
Facilities including schools, hospitals, and other public buildings are at a higher risk, and therefore employees and visitors must take extra precautions if onsite. You can do your part to protect employees and prevent the spread of disease by encouraging social distancing and offering reduced hours or time off for employees who are at higher risk.
During this time, safety is imperative. Depending on the industry and needs of your business, closing up shop may or may not be in your best interest. Follow your state’s guidelines and stay up to date on CDC recommendations for businesses.