3 Considerations for Facility Directors in the Face of Coronavirus Spread
As transmission of COVID-19 continues to gain momentum here in the United States, concerns about transmission of the disease in facilities have hit unprecedented levels. You, as a Facility Director, face a multi-faceted challenge; how to keep your business running as smoothly as possible while dealing with circumstance beyond your control.
“Now’s the time for businesses, hospitals, community schools and everyday people to begin preparing,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.
The effort to mitigate the spread is going to take the best of us as we face this public health emergency. Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, the possibility of assembling a small team who will be tasked with organizing and disseminating information to your staff could be key.
Your building can make you sick or help keep you well.
Three areas of focus for Facility Management at this moment:
1) Supply Chain Disruption
- Inventory what you currently have in stock and consider ordering 4-6 weeks worth of supplies such as gloves, masks, hand gel, paper products
- Many of our supplies are made in countries experiencing epidemics
- Shipments are reportedly showing delays and will continue to backlog in the US over the next couple of months
- Consider opening multiple chains of fulfillment for flexibility
2) Employee/Staff Reduction Due to Illness
- Based on previous epidemics, up to 40% of staff may be out due to illness
- Keep in mind that employees can also be negatively affected by modes of public transportation in a pandemic
- Plans should detail how to communicate with employees about staying away from work when they are sick and telecommuting if necessary
- Stagger start and end times of the work day to reduce numbers in the spaces at the same time
- Social distancing and travel restriction may be necessary along with isolation of infected staff
- Encourage employees to have family plans (childcare, parents, etc.)
3) Disinfection/Decontamination of Spaces
- Supplies may be limited, so know what you have on hand
- Wipe down frequently touched areas and computer areas
- If you don’t have an infection control system in place, make that a priority going forward
- Almost 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted via contact or touch and surfaces act as reservoirs for germ transfer to hands if they aren’t cleaned and disinfected routinely
- Specify procedures for different areas, products to be used with directions on dwell time and how to avoid cross contamination with a written policy
- Experts suggest that temperatures best for viral persistence on surfaces are 68-86 degrees and 50% humidity
Prepare for the next crisis because COVID-19 has, and will continue to change our businesses and society.
We must constantly review how we react and alter our plans going forward with an eye on preparedness. After we make our way through this pandemic, we are likely to see COVID-19 added to our list of seasonal illness and are told by epidemiologists to anticipate other novel viruses coming our way. Building contingency strategies and resilience into our systems will help us minimize the disruptions in our business and the health affects on our people.
What we do at this moment will save lives, minimize the bottom line effects on our businesses, and hopefully mitigate costs down the line.
Please visit our website for information on our patented, EPA registered Disinfection/Decontamination System, as well as Coronavirus updates from the CDC and Johns Hopkins global view of spread and intensity www.curissystem.com
*To be considered when choosing a disinfection system for your facility; toxicity of chemicals to the staff utilizing them, exposure to skin and lungs, and systemic effects on worker safety and health
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