As you all know, the novel coronavirus has landed in the United States. As of writing, cases have been confirmed in 46 states and Washington DC. According to the latest estimate from Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 1,700 confirmed cases across the United States. Understandably, there is a plethora of uncertainty, misinformation, and fear spreading along with the virus.
Corvus Janitorial Systems recommends taking the time to do your research, stay up-to-date, and most importantly, take steps to prevent the spread of the virus. Though you should be concerned and take this situation very seriously, now is not the time to panic. By taking preventative steps in our personal lives, businesses, and communities, we can help to slow the spread and long-term impact that coronavirus will have on our health, lives, and economy.
1. Use Good Judgement
Are you experiencing a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath? Is anyone in your social circle showing these symptoms? If so, now is the time to implement the age-old “better safe than sorry” approach. If you are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, stay home. Even if the symptoms are mild (they are in approximately 80% of cases), you are still contagious and can spread the virus.
Use your best judgment; if you have a fever, stay home and limit your interactions with other people. Work from home if possible if you have a cough. If you are exhibiting any symptoms, avoid the vulnerable population (the elderly, people with underlying health issues) entirely. Avoid traveling to areas with widespread infection if you are healthy and try not to travel at all if you know you are ill.
2. Wash Your Hands Often and Use Proper Hand Washing Techniques
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – or any virus for that matter – is frequent hand washing using the proper technique. Hand sanitizer doesn’t cut it; traditional handwashing with soap and water is still the most effective way to kill germs. To properly wash your hands, use warm water, fully lather your hands with soap and scrub them until they are fully soapy and sudsy.
A ten-second rinse is not enough – you should spend at least 30 seconds washing your hands. Timing tip: A good rule-of-thumb for handwashing: if you sing “happy birthday” while washing your hands and don’t get through it in its entirety, you have not washed long enough.
3. Catch Your Cough
This one is straightforward – if you have a cough, cover your mouth when you cough, especially in public spaces and around other people. Catch your cough with your elbow, hand, or a handkerchief. Doing so can prevent community spread from person-to-person contraction. COVID-19 has shown an ability to live outside of a host for a longer duration than standard influenza, therefore if you do cough on a surface, wipe it down immediately with disinfectant and sanitizer.
4. Elbows, Bums, and Tums – Avoid Common Touch Points
Avoid using your hands while interacting with common touchpoints such as doors and door handles, railings on public transit, light switches, and sink handles if possible. Open doors using your elbow, rear-end, or stomach if they are push-to-open. If a door is pull-to-open, consider waiting on someone to open it from the other side, or cover your hand with your sleeve if necessary.
If you do have to open a door with your hands, wash them after. When you are finished, you should turn off the sink with your elbow or a paper towel. Do not touch your face with your hands at all; use your shoulder or upper arm to scratch an itch. Rather than shaking hands, use a fist or elbow bump when meeting or greeting someone.
5. Dinner? Not Tonight. Practice Social Distancing
The phrase “social distancing” has been thrown around a lot in recent weeks, and for good reason. Limiting social interactions, especially in public spaces and other high traffic areas, will highly increase your chances of staying healthy. Cook at home as opposed to going out to eat. Limit your social interactions to a close circle of people that you know are healthy, and even then, only for interactions that cannot be conducted in any other manner.
Thankfully, social distancing does not mean complete social isolation; there are many alternatives to face-to-face interactions in the digital age. Call or video chat with your friends; conduct meetings through video conferences; start a group chat with your social circle.
Recommended Resources for Coronavirus Research and Updates
This piece is meant simply to inform, not to provide any legal or medical advice.
About Corvus Janitorial Systems
Founded in 2004 to make people’s lives better, Corvus is a full-service commercial cleaning franchisor that offers cleaning services through reputable local Franchisees. Corvus has been guided by its mission to transform people and transform places by consistently delivering independence, security, and freedom to Franchisees who deliver high quality cleaning to offices, educational buildings, medical buildings/offices, recreational centers, industrial parks, and other spaces. The company has 17 regional support offices across the United States with nearly 900 franchisees. For more information regarding Corvus, visit www.corvusjanitorial.com or www.corvusjanitorial.com/franchise for franchise information.