Message From Chapter President- COVID-19 & April Meeting
Message from Pat Garland -President, ASSP Colorado Chapter
I want to provide an update Colorado Chapter of the ASSP about the challenges of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As always, the health and safety of our member, your employees, clients and the public are important to us. In response to recommendations to limit social gatherings, at this time we are cancelling the April Lunch and Learn.
We are all closely monitoring the COVID-19 and should share/forward the current guidance from the leading government and health authorities to help ensure we are all taking the right actions to protect our employees, clients, and the communities where we operate.
Be proactive and have a contingency plan to maintain your business activities in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Follow all advice from the government, regulatory or medical authorities. Here are some of the sources to get information from:
• U.S. State Department;
• Centers for Disease Control (CDC); and
• World Health Organization.
With the COVID-19 in the news every day, it’s only natural to have some anxiety. This is especially true since so much about the virus is unknown right now. Be kind to yourself and respect your fears. It may help you to remember other stressful situations you’ve been through before, and how you coped. But don’t dwell on the fears. Focus on the facts.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that is a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, runny nose, cough and trouble breathing. Like the flu, most people develop only mild symptoms. But some, usually people with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. The incubation period for COVID-19 is from 2 to 14 days.
According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
The best advice we have so far includes taking many of the same precautions we take against the flu. These include:
• Stocking up on cold medicines, pain relievers, a thermometer and tissues;
• Having broth, soup, non-perishable and comfort foods in the house;
• Staying away from people who are coughing or showing other signs of illness;
• Using disinfectants in your house to wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters, sinks and other surfaces all family members share;
• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (Not Tito’s, it’s not strong enough) if soap and water are not available; and
• Washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water (20-30 seconds).
As always, if you are sick, you should:
• Stay home when you are sick;
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; and
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The best things we can all do to stop the spread of this virus is to educate ourselves and our colleagues about the virus. Moreover, the simple interventions of washing your hands and staying home if you’re sick are the two best tools we have to prevent the spread of the disease.
What to do if you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you or a household family member gets sick:
1. Stay home and work from home if possible or use sick leave time
2. Start taking laptops home daily so there is no need to return to your office if you need to stay home;
3. Get yourself or your family member tested as soon as possible;
4. If positive, please notify your employer and identify any other employees with whom you have been in close contact in the last 14 days; and
5. If positive, self – quarantine for a period of 14 days or until your doctor indicates it is safe to return to work.
During this challenging time people will turn to us as Safety Professionals for help to keep our workplaces, employees and our communities healthy as we navigate through this current health threat. Take common sense precautions. Rely on facts not fears.
Above all – Be Safe.