The fears and worry surrounding the coronavirus continue to develop. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are constantly updating their statistics as more knowledge is gained about the disease. While the CDC believes the overall risk to the American public is low, there are additional steps one can take to protect themselves.
As with any virus, the CDC recommends individuals and families follow everyday preventive measures. They are outlined as follows:
- Stay at home when you are sick and avoid close contact with those that are sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue; promptly dispose of the tissue
- Wash hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Routinely sanitize frequently touched surfaces in your home and workplace
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
Additionally, employers can also take steps to keep the workplace safe in the event of an outbreak. The CDC recommends the following strategies:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
- Separate sick employees: CDC recommends that employees who appear to have a respiratory illness upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home
- Reiterate the importance of staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Routine office cleaning and sanitation
While the unknown surrounding the coronavirus is real and terrifying, the preventative measures outlined above are the best way to combat a viral illness. Currently, the CDC is not as concerned as some areas of the world, nevertheless, it’s important to stay vigilant and informed at all times. For more information, visit the CDC’s website for up-to-date information on the coronavirus.