There is a lot we do not know about what causes COVID-19, but we learn more every day. How it spreads, how it makes us sick, and how we can protect ourselves. The virus can enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth. The main way you can get sick is if you are close to a person who has COVID-19. You can also get sick by touching a dirty surface, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. The CDC and local health departments have provided recommendations to slow or stop the spread of coronavirus.

Train your employees about the following to keep them healthy and your business open:

  • Symptoms typically start 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include cough, fever, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, sore throat, muscle pain/fatigue, chills, and loss of taste or smell.
  • Stay home. If you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms or have been around someone sick, stay home.
  • Self-report. If you become sick with COVID-19, tell your employer. The CDC recommends anyone that has come into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Physical distancing. Employees should stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Hand washing. People should wash their hands regularly throughout the day. If water is not available, use hand sanitizer. Please note hand sanitizer does not replace the requirement for hand washing.
  • Clean and disinfect. Clean and disinfect surfaces people frequently touch such as doorknobs or shared equipment. Use disinfectant is approved by the EPA.
  • Follow the instructions on the product label.
  • Provide PPE like disposable gloves, safety glasses, face shields, and face masks. Be sure employees know when and how to use PPE. PPE only works if used right. Note – the use of a respirator like an N95 requires a Respiratory Protection Program that includes a medical evaluation, annual fit testing, and training. During the pandemic, these respirators should be reserved for use by medical and health care professionals.

Resources

CDC: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Labor and Industries: https://www.lni.wa.gov/agency/outreach/novel-coronavirus-outbreak-covid-19-resources

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