While a growing number of organizations are closing their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, not everyone has that option. For those who continue to work on site, good hygiene and a clean workplace are the top two ways to protect against the virus.
Businesses can reinforce these practices by providing the supplies employees need to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s best practices for disease prevention: washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Here are five items to stock up on during the coronavirus outbreak:
While alcohol-based disinfectants can kill the coronavirus, soap remains the most effective way to rid the virus from your hands. Why?
“The short story: Because the virus is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer. Soap dissolves the fat membrane and the virus falls apart like a house of cards and dies—or rather, we should say it becomes inactive as viruses aren’t really alive,”
A fairly small amount of soapy water is enough to cover your entire hand and break the bond between the virus and your skin, which is why it’s important to urge employees to wash their hands often throughout the workday. Keep soap dispensers stocked at all times.
While handwashing stations are ideal for promoting good hygiene, they’re not always practical. In a pinch, hand sanitizer can provide a more convenient alternative. Dispensers can be placed almost anywhere throughout the workplace, including at the entrance so employees can clean their hands as soon as they arrive.
Choose a product that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, suggests the CDC, and “place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.”
Paper Hand Towels
The coronavirus can travel up to 27 feet on a cough or sneeze, one MIT researcher found—far enough even to overcome six-foot social distancing guidelines. As we enter peak allergy season, encouraging employees to cover their coughs and sneezes is vital.
Using a tissue or hand towels to block forceful exhalations is more effective at preventing the spread of the coronavirus even than wearing a face mask, according to the World Health Organizations. That’s because the virus can accumulate on a face mask all day, whereas a tissue is typically used once and thrown away.
The more you clean high-touch areas in your workplace—such as keyboards, phones and work surfaces—the better your chances of fending off the coronavirus. Empower employees to protect themselves and their workstations from the disease by making disinfectant wipes available at all times.
At minimum, these surfaces should be wiped down at the beginning and end of each shift. But it’s also helpful for employees to be able to clean them anytime they feel their workspace may have been compromised.
Providing no-touch dispensers adds another layer of protection. The fewer surfaces employees must touch when washing their hands, the fewer opportunities there are for viruses to spread. A few examples of no touch fixtures are soap dispensers, hand towel dispensers and water faucets
As employees become more diligent about cleaning and washing hands, you’re likely to see an uptick in the amount of bathroom supplies your workplace generates. You may need to increase the frequency of janitorial services in restrooms, break rooms and other common areas.
Although researchers are working on a cure for COVID-19, so far these common, low-tech cleaning supplies remain your best weapon against the virus. Keeping them abundantly stocked and easily accessible can help ensure a cleaner, healthier workplace.
If you are a Portland, Oregon or Northern Virginia business and need help sourcing these items then contact us today. We offer supply procurement services to all our routine customers. Call to find out more @ 503-432-8302