[This article was written by Anita Ginsburg.]
With the COVID-19 vaccine finally here, we are one step closer to getting things under control. However, although the vaccine will help stop the spread, it doesn’t grant complete immunity. Everyone must remain diligent, especially as places of employment start reopening. Here are some ways you can avoid the spread of germs when you return to the office.
Keep Your Mask On
Acquiring the vaccine will likely give you peace of mind, but it doesn’t mean you no longer have to wear a mask. It should be common knowledge at this point, but the COVID-19 droplets can spread from person to person at an alarming rate. The only known method to prevent the spread is to wear a mask that blocks these respiratory droplets. In offices and stores, you’re going to be surrounded by employees and customers. Continuing to wear a mask prevents the bacteria from entering your body and keeps you contributing to the spread.
Wash Your Hands
While diligently wearing masks can put a near-total stop to the spread of the virus, you still need to be careful what you touch and where you put your hands. The virus can also spread around the workplace via rubbing your eyes, wiping your nose, or touching your mouth. To get rid of the bacteria on your hands, you must thoroughly wash them.
The CDC recommends you scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. As you wash, be sure to get in-between your fingernails as well. Just like dirt, the bacteria can linger underneath them. If you are unable to wash your hands, a hand sanitizer solution that is at least 70 percent alcohol is a good substitute.
One of the things that makes COVID-19 so dangerous is how long it takes for symptoms to actually show. It can take up to two weeks for any symptoms to appear. The earliest you’ll see symptoms is about 48 hours. However, some symptoms are more subtle than others, like fevers. You can help prevent employees from unknowingly bringing the virus to work by setting up a COVID-19 employee temperature screening station. Before letting someone into the building, have their temperature taken. If it’s higher than normal, send them home immediately.
Do Not Share
Sharing may be caring, but with the pandemic still running rampant, it can cause a catastrophe. Do not share anything, like food, utensils, or drinks. When it comes to sharing something such as a pen, wipe it down before using it again. The germs from the other person can remain on surfaces for several days if they’re not cleaned.
COVID-19 has changed many things about daily life. However, with the proper precautions, we can keep the virus from wreaking further havoc. Use this information to keep yourself and everyone else in the workplace safe and healthy.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.