Something we all must accept is that we live in a new reality. In only two years, the post-COVID world is vastly different to the life we lived in 2019. If someone has told us then that in a few years frequent hand sanitization, social distancing, mask-wearing and panic buying toilet paper were to become the norm, no one would have believed it. Another more sobering reality is the realistic notion that a close contact could catch COVID, such as a colleague. This begs the question, what happens if someone gets COVID-19 at work?
Some people are not aware of the risks of getting COVID-19 at work. They are not aware that they can get COVID-19 from their workmates, equipment, or their environment. It is important to be educated about what happens if someone gets COVID-19 in the workplace
Fortunately, many businesses know the risks and have subsequently put a COVID-action plan in place. But many companies still don’t, whether it be from lack of education or perceived threat. They do not realise that if someone gets COVID-19 at work, they will need to clean and disinfect the area where they were working before they can go back to it. They may also need the entire staff to get tested for covid that could have been spread by contact with the infected person. This article discusses what businesses should do if a team member tests positive while at work.
What happens if someone gets COVID-19 at work?
COVID-19 is a virus that can be found in droplets from sneezing, coughing, or talking. It is spread through the air and people with the virus can pass it to others by breathing droplets of it into the air. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 at work, they should take the following steps:
1. Isolate immediately: Send them home to prevent further spread.
2. Clean and disinfect: Clean their workspace and disinfect surfaces in the area.
3. Contact tracing: The infected person should also contact anyone who has been in contact with them in the past week to inform them of their status so that they can take precautions against infection.
4. Get tested: As a precaution, all staff who work in the proximity of the infected should get tested and isolate until results are returned negative.
5. Maintain regular cleaning: The best way to prevent further outbreaks is by creating a culture of cleanliness. Regularly wipe down with sufficient cleaning products on all surfaces, especially common touch-points such as door handles.
For further information on what to do in the case of a COVID positive case visit the Government health website.
How will I know if I have COVID?
The symptoms of COVID are similar to those of influenza, but they can be more severe. The most common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of sense of taste, and cough. It can also cause chest pain and difficulty breathing. However, some COVID-positive people are not symptomatic, meaning they don’t realise they are infected until they are tested. This is part of the reason why COVID is so contagious as people spread it without realising they have it. If you have COVID19 and you work in an office or school setting, then you should stay home to avoid infecting others.
Do I need to get tested if someone at work has COVID?
COVID19 is a virus that is spread through contact with bodily fluids. It can be transmitted through the air, but it is not airborne. If someone at work has COVID-19, then staff should be tested in case they are contagious. As stated earlier, they do not need to show symptoms to be COVID-positive. Therefore, as a precaution, everyone should get tested even if they are feeling perfectly healthy. There are many ways to contract the virus, but only some of them require an examination by a doctor. COVID19 can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids like blood and saliva or the air in small droplets that come from coughing or sneezing. If you think someone might have been exposed to COVID19, they should immediately wash their hands and avoid contact with others until you know for sure if they're infected. Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) can also be home delivered if need be.
What kind of cleaning is needed for an area that has been exposed to COVID?
As COVID19 is a virus that can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, the best way to prevent this from happening is to take the necessary precautions and clean the area as soon as possible. The first thing they need to do is disinfect the area with a disinfectant. They will want cleaning options that are not irritating to people in the workplace, such as mopheads and microfibre cloths. Additionally, you want cleaning equipment that is easy to navigate in crowded and hard-to-reach spaces.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep work areas clean. This includes the floors, desks, and even the windows. It is also important to make sure you maintain a healthy cleaning routine. One of the best ways to do this is by ensuring the cleaning staff keep a record. They should also have a standard operating procedure (SOP) which includes a cleaning checklist. There are several resources out there to help you instill a culture of clean for what happens if someone gets COVID at work, such as best cleaning product recommendations and best practice guides.
The best way to keep the work environment clean, healthy and safe, is to get the professionals to handle it. If you have any questions or queries on best cleaning practices then please reach out to us today.