Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a respiratory infection that spreads much like influenza. It is mainly a problem for countries like China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy but there have been some recent cases in the United States that has everyone rushing to the store to buy all the water and toilet paper.
So what should you do to take preventative measures since your fleet travels all over the country? Make a copy of the following list and put it on display in the breakroom as well as forward this link to all employees who are out on the road.
- It’s an important practice to steer clear of anyone who is clearly showing symptoms like cough, fever, and/or sneezing. Whether you think they have coronavirus or not, it’s probably best not to give them a hug.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth throughout the day. It may seem like a simple practice, but we don’t realize how much we scratch our face, rub our eyes, and pick something out of our teeth. Try to actively stay engaged in your mannerisms.
- Clean your offices and vehicle interiors constantly. The best way to not catch a virus, is to constantly be attacking its possible resting places. The most important items to clean are items that are in constant contact with your hands. For example, your keyboard, mouse, steering wheel, shifter, dashboard, cupholders, and even your cellphone! Think about it, when was the last time you cleaned your cell phone? According to Seattle Times, your cell phone has over 25,000 bacteria per square inch. GROSS!
- Washing your hands is a very important preventative measure as well. If you think your little bottle of hand sanitizer will be enough to keep the germs away, you are sadly mistaken. Most hand sanitizers work in tandem with washing your hands prior. If you are using hand sanitizer on dirty hands, then you could be trapping the bacteria and viruses on your skin. To those of you who bought out all the hand sanitizer at my local grocery store, this is for you.
- Only wear a facemask if you have a sickness. Lots of people think wearing a facemask would be a great way to prevent getting any diseases. This is not the case, when you are well and attempting to prevent respiratory infections, wearing a mask will simply create a breeding ground in front of your mouth for germs, bacteria, and even viruses!
- Employees who are showing symptoms should stay home to prevent spreading the infection within your offices. An important rule to follow is to wait until no fever is present for at least 24 hours without the aid of medication (fever medications).
- Make sure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that your employees are informed of these policies.
- Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
- Be lenient with doctor’s notes from employees who claim respiratory infections. It may be possible that medical offices are extremely busy during this time and that they may not be able to send proof of illness in a timely fashion.
- Don’t panic! It’s important to remember that although this coronavirus scenario is mainstream media news, all the cases in the United States are properly quarantined and known by the CDC. One of the main reasons cases have gone up recently is due to individuals safely being transported back to their home from outside the country. Not to say that there aren’t individual cases being investigated by the CDC currently (49), but with influenza killing 18,000 this season, I think you will survive this hype.
Since there is a shortage of hand sanitizer in local stores here is a recipe to make your own if you have access to these ingredients.
- 2/3 cup of 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol or ethanol)
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
- 8-10 drops of essential oil, if you want to add fragrance.
- Bowl and spoon
- Funnel (if you have problems aiming)
- Recycled liquid soap bottle or hand sanitizer bottle
Mix these ingredients together and you now have a cheap way of decreasing the chance of catching infections!
Here are some United States statistics to help you better understand what is happening in regards to COVID-19.
- Total Cases: 938
- Total Deaths: 29
- States reporting cases: 39
From the CDC website: Data include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date
Practicing these preventative measures is the best way to decrease the chances of spreading viral infections, but an even better way to keep yourself, employees and fleet wrapped in a blanket of safety is to offer them a proper roadside assistance plan. Call us today at 888-844-3982 for more information on what we can do for you!