There’s a sense of renewal as businesses, schools, churches, government offices, and other public spaces begin to fully reopen throughout the country in the wake of COVID-19 – a return to some degree of normality seems to be finally within our reach!
But care and caution are still required, now more than ever, if we as a country hope to continue having more reopens and a fuller return to our daily lives. Your organization bears a great deal of responsibility for the safety and well-being of your valued employees, so it’s important for you to understand and implement the best safety practices for reopening and returning to work.
Best Practices for the Strongest Defense against COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued comprehensive guidelines for a safe return to work as the country continues to rebound from COVID-19. Here are three important points to consider when keeping your organization and your team safe and productive:
1. Remember the old saying about “an ounce of prevention”…
The proverb says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that is especially true in dealing with COVID-19. Preventive actions are critical to keeping the virus at bay and making sure your employees stay safe. The CDC recommends:
- Wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth
- Keeping a safe social distance of six feet apart
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccine (and encouraging others to do so as well)
- Preventing crowded spaces, and ensuring proper ventilation for indoor areas
- Encouraging frequent hand washing with soap and water
- Keeping masks, tissues, and hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) readily available
2. Complacency can be deadly…
Vaccines and proper safety practices are helping to reduce the risks of COVID-19, but the threat is still very real and extremely dangerous. If anyone in your organization has COVID-19, and thinks they may have the virus or has been exposed to someone who is sick, quick and decisive measures are still required for you and your staff.
If anyone in your organization tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate for at least ten days, even if there are no symptoms. If symptoms did appear, in addition to the 10-day guideline, there should be 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and other symptoms of COVID should show marked improvement. (One exception is loss of taste and smell – per CDC guidelines, this symptom may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
Those on your staff who are at increased risk for severe illness – including older adults and those with compromised immune systems – should be offered options such as telework and/or modified job responsibilities to lessen contact with others. There’s no need for at-risk individuals to rush to get back in the office!
3. Welcome back – but keep a safe distance…
Even as COVID-19 is better understood and managed, the fundamentals of the virus are unchanged. Spending more time around others who may be infected increases an individual’s risk of becoming infected. Since some people may have the virus and not know it because they aren’t displaying any they have no symptoms, increased interactions come with heightened risk of transmission.
Many businesses, churches, schools, and offices have installed barriers to reduce contact and close interactions – that’s an important safety measure that the CDC advises, and your staff should also feel empowered to take added steps to minimize their interactions with others, whether it’s conducting meetings via telephone or teleconferencing, or arranging schedules to lessen the number of people in the workspace at one time.
And of course, your colleagues and customers should always wear masks and maintain six feet of social distancing during any needed interactions. Many states and localities are easing mask mandates, but your organization is free to maintain this requirement in the interest of your team’s safety and well-being.
Communication Is Key – for COVID-19 and Every Challenge You Face
Thousands of businesses, schools, churches, nonprofits, sports organizations, government agencies, medical institutions, and emergency service providers rely on High Ground Solutions for their mass messaging and targeted notification needs. Every industry and organization faces unique challenges, and High Ground Solutions is able to tailor messaging solutions that address these specific needs.
If you’re worried that it’s too late to establish a rapid communications system for the COVID-19 era – don’t be! Getting started is quick and simple because there is no hardware or software to install, since the entire system is cloud-based and operates off our secure network of servers. And beyond the pandemic, the High Ground system is perfect for schedule alerts, emergency notices, volunteer updates, and a variety of other situations where your organization needs to get the word out, quickly.
Want to learn more? You can connect with High Ground Solutions here to get started on the best rapid response messaging strategies that will help keep your team informed and in good health.