Workplace Safety to Reduce Viral Exposure and Transmission

Your safety and well-being is very important. As the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to expand, the United States has also increased its testing capacity and officials will detect more cases across the country. The information now available suggests that most COVID-19 cases are mild. Nonetheless, it is important that we practice cough and sneeze etiquette: cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. Use the inside of your elbow if a tissue is not readily available. Wash or clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Be sure to clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces like doorknobs, tables and faucets at least daily. Maintaining these practices will help minimize the potential for spreading the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extensive guidance on these procedures.

Maintain Self-Care

If you are at work and begin to feel ill, notify your supervisor. We will work together to get you the care you need. If you are at home and you are suffering from any respiratory symptoms, you should notify your primary health care provider. Respiratory symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. As soon as it is possible, also notify your supervisor so he/she is aware. Stay home until your health care provider recommends that you to return to work. Also stay home and notify your supervisor if you are caring for a family member with COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms in your home.

Be mindful of your own overall wellbeing and do your best to take care of yourself too. Engage in self-care by staying connected to social supports, getting enough rest, and taking time for restorative activities (exercise, meditation, reading, outdoor activities). The CDC offers guidance on managing anxiety and stress during this time of coronavirus outbreak. You might also find information shared in this behavioral health tip sheet to be helpful. Our goal is to support you in caring for yourself as well as minimizing the opportunities to spread illness to your co-workers, children in care and their families.

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