We can’t tell you whether to send everyone home or not. But let’s assume you do have to run a workplace (and a home). Beyond the basics of hand-washing and not touching your face, here are six simple ways to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission:
1. Mark your fingers like this
Use an indelible marker or tie a string or rubber band around your fingers, especially on your right hand. This will remind you not to shake hands, not to touch your face — and to wash your hands or sanitize them if you do. If you are left-handed, you should probably do both hands.
2. Use humidifiers at work
Most workplaces are very dry. Viruses can stay airborne longer in dry air. (Winter air being drier is thought to be one of the reasons cases of flu are seasonal.) To oversimplify, the viruses attach to water droplets and fall to the ground faster in the humid air.
3. Avoid contact with hard surfaces
One would think that viruses would live longer on soft, cushy surfaces than hard, shiny ones. That’s quite counter-intuitive. If you met someone for the first time, you would certainly open their door, but you wouldn’t jump into their bed. (Cue sophomoric joke here about swiping right.)
And indeed beds and other soft surfaces do harbor all sorts of other microscopic life forms, most of which wouldn’t harm you or we’d all be extinct by now. For instance, you should swap out your pillows every year or so because dust mites like to set up housekeeping in them. But for cold, flu and coronavirus, it’s the hard, shiny public surfaces that will get you.
4. Reduce the number of hard surfaces in public places
Prop open doors. Door handles (or pushing on revolving doors) are probably the #1 surface that people come into contact with, without thinking twice about it. Obviously, this isn’t always practical. One could do it for the break rooms but perhaps not the restrooms.
5. Wrap/tape a soft surface around the door handles
Viruses die sooner on softer surfaces, and since people think of softer surfaces as carrying more germs (they do – just not coronavirus), they will be more likely to wash afterward.
6. Play the Quizzify coronavirus quizzes…and send them to your employees
The first covers the basics. It was profiled recently in Employee Benefit News.
Click here for a helpful link to the CDC website about Coronavirus prevention and mitigation.
This blog post was written by Al Lewis.
USPM has recently partnered with Quizzify to enrich our content for our customers with its unbiased and trustworthy health information, reviewed and approved by doctors at Harvard Medical School. Quizzify provides the education employees need to be health-literate, wiser and more confident healthcare consumers.