There’s no doubt that life after COVID-19 will be different. People are referring to the post-pandemic world as the “new normal,” indicating that measures to prevent a resurgence may be in place for a while. The State of Ohio’s Responsible RestartOhio campaign will begin the process of re-opening Ohio’s economy. Maintaining a healthy work environment for employees is more important than ever. Here are some tips to ensure a sanitized workspace and some resources for industry-specific re-opening protocols.
Be sure to wear disposable gloves when cleaning
- Clean before you disinfect: Clean hard surfaces using soap and water before disinfection. This will remove particles that could be carrying COVID-19 from the surface and will reduce the work-load of the disinfectant.
- Kill the germs: Disinfect using an EPA-registered product. Follow all instructions found on the product label to ensure maximum disinfection. Other products that may also be used are diluted bleach solutions (5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water) or and alcohol solutions of at least 70% alcohol. If using a disinfecting wipe, ensure that each wipe is used for only one area and use enough wipes to keep the surface wet visibly wet for four minutes.
- High-touch surfaces: Be sure to clean high-touch surfaces at least daily. These surfaces include doorknobs, tables, chairs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, sinks, etc.
- The carpet needs cleaned, as well: Clean soft surfaces using soap and water, or other applicable products. Launder applicable items using the warmest water settings appropriate. Disinfect with an EPA-registered product.
- Don’t forget about the electronics: Tablets, touchscreens, keyboards, remote controls, and other products are all high-touch items. Clean electronics using the product guidelines or an alcohol-based wipe. Disinfectant sprays also work.
- Laundry: Launder clothing, towels, linens and other items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not shake dirty laundry, as this could disperse the virus through the air. Dirty laundry that has been exposed can be washed with other people’s items. Launder items using the warmest water setting appropriate. Be sure to clean and disinfect hampers and carts used for transporting dirty laundry.
- Encourage good hygiene: Require employees to regularly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or use a 60 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Employers can make handwashing fun by posting lists of songs with 20-second choruses for employees to sing while washing their hands. A list can be found here.
- Other general tips: stop handshaking, limit handling cash, increase ventilation by opening windows, limit meeting attendance where possible, and use online bookings/transactions to decrease customer flow within the workspace.
Additional Cleaning Resources
- For information on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities with suspected/confirmed coronavirus cases, visit this link to the CDC.
- Visit this link for general CDC guidance on cleaning your workspace.
- Safe food handling tips can be found here through the Ohio Department of Health.
- For tips on preparing workplaces for COVID-19, visit this guidance from the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- All businesses will be responsible for recommending face coverings for employees and clients/customers, conducting daily health assessments by employers and employees, maintaining good hygiene and cleaning workplaces throughout the workday. More information can be found here.
- On May 4, manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses will be able to reopen. Industry-specific protocols outlined by the governor and the Ohio Department of Health can be found by visiting this link.
- General office environments may also reopen on May 4 if the business can meet mandatory safety requirements. The Responsible RestartOhio plan for these businesses can be found at this link.
- Beginning May 12, consumer, retail and services may reopen. Safety will be a top priority for customers and employees. More information regarding safety can be found here.
Remember, we’re all in this together, and that will be more important than ever as we begin to restart responsibly.
COLLEEN M. GILGER
Colleen Gilger is the City of Dublin’s Economic Development Director. She has served the City’s Economic Development office since 2003; and in its Community Relations office from 1997-2003.