Covid-safe Workplaces Need More Than Just Social Distancing

Highlights from the Ecosystem

It is not quite the positive surge that we wanted to see at the start of 2022. COVID-19 cases are on the rise and recorded in the thousands on a daily basis. The rapidly spreading and highly contagious variants are the primary reason for this increase in numbers, but the lack of measures that have been enforced on a formal and informal basis are to blame.

At BDD, being part of a community that extends beyond the campus walls, it is our commitment and shared responsibility to keep everyone as safe as possible. However, the responsibility starts with the individual, then the company and its rules and lastly, how we interact with one another as part of a bigger community.

Here are recommendations for individuals to stay safe amidst the pandemic, within workplaces and social settings:

  • Personal COVID-19 kits should always be handy and used diligently (masks and hand sanitizers). Washing your hands frequently is highly recommended.
  • Medical masks must be worn AT ALL TIMES in all communal and shared spaces
  • Elevator use should be limited to three people at a time
  • Social distancing in offices, meeting rooms, cafes and restaurants should be maintained at all times. It is preferable not to be in enclosed spaces without proper ventilation.
  • Should an individual have any of the symptoms (cold, fatigue, cough, fever, body aches or other) it is advisable they isolate and test.
  • Anyone that has come into contact with a COVID-positive person, should isolate and test after the recommended incubation period (rapid antigen tests are now widely available in most local pharmacies. Yet, PCRs have shown more accurate results).
  • It is recommended that meetings have a limited number of people, and all attendees should wear masks and socially distance. Events of larger sizes should be avoided until the numbers decline.
  • Avoid close interactions with elderly individuals, those with pre-existing conditions or those with compromised immune systems. Keep your mask on and maintain recommended social distancing, if you must see them.

Here are additional recommendations for companies to keep their workplaces safe and hygienic to avoid the spread of COVID-19:

  • Ensure that office spaces are cleaned and disinfected. This includes work stations, shared spaces and meeting rooms. Ask team members to take ownership and sanitize the areas they have used, when they are done.
  • Update policies and procedures for potentially infected or contagious team members. These policies should include precautionary measures, what to do if they have come into contact with infected person(s) and measures to take should they test positive.
  • Remind team members (and each other), to take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and that of others. Place signs and posters, and send email alerts.
  • Open windows to air out offices spaces every hour, as good ventilation has shown to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • If remote working models have already been established and suit your company structure, it is advisable to implement them either in the form of alternating groups or schedules.

Additional resources from the World Health Organization are available here.

Stay safe, stay healthy and let us protect ourselves and our loved ones from the virus.

Every individual is part of a bigger community and is responsible to limit the spread of COVID-19. Here are recommendations for individuals and companies in light of the surge in cases.
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