While the full extent of COVID-19's global impact is yet unknown, it's a good idea to take precautionary measures to protect yourself, your loved ones, friends and neighbors. In light of this pandemic, it's important to stay updated on health guidelines from trusted organizations like the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ensure you're getting information from reliable sources to avoid spreading misinformation. While hospitals and governments work to keep people healthy and safe, many nonprofit organizations like ours are continuing to provide communities with what they need during this period. If you can, help is always needed.
General Tips Here’s a list of best practices you can consider to keep your family and loved ones safe during this time.
KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE Update your friends and loved ones with the latest news, developments and health regulations. Provide this information via several platforms to make sure everyone is reached. Look out for common symptoms of the coronavirus like a dry cough, shortness of breath and/or fever. Create hygiene stations in wash areas and make sure others are following protocol to keep everyone healthy. Encourage others to work from home if they're not feeling well, or if they traveled recently.
COMMUNICATE Stay in the loop. Get updated information regularly from trusted websites and social media noting any changes to Government notices, recommendations or event/service cancelations. Fact check and share links to pertinent and accurate information. Don't perpetuate hysteria by sharing unsubstantiated or speculative reports. Communicate regularly and safely. Encourage others to do the same. Here are some ways you can reach out to your friends and loved ones:
Live chat with work, friends and loved ones using any of the multiple video conferencing platforms.
Join a neighborhood forum and actively respond to questions and concerns from your community.
Write a blog article detailing what you are doing to keep your family and loved ones safe.
Update your followers on social media with any relevant information.
Talk with household members and ask for any updates they have recently received.
KEEP A HEALTHY HOME Be proactive about sanitation. The virus can live on some surfaces for up to 3 days. Consider these tips for keeping your environment safe:
Wipe down surfaces throughout the day using a cleaning solution with at least 70% alcohol.
Encourage everyone to wash their hands. Visibly place hand sanitizer, soap and tissues in common areas.
Add a sanitation kit as part of your bathroom amenities.
Routinely disinfect surfaces people frequently touch, including countertops, door handles, TV remotes, mobile devices, light switches, faucets and toilets.
Use disinfectants such as bleach or ammonia when washing linens.
Create a new hygiene protocol. Train your household to take extra precautions that keep your shared environment clean. Make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly and frequently. Scrub all smooth surfaces, tabletops and tableware regularly. Follow guidelines from your local health department. Avoid unnecessary physical contact.
Double down on hygiene. Let your friends know the steps you're taking to keep your own environment clean and safe. Consider these safeguards:
Keep hand sanitizer, disposable wipes, soap and tissues on hand. Remind friends and loved ones to use them regularly.
Ensure everyone washes their hands (for at least 20 seconds).
Post reminders to avoid handshaking and touching your face.
If relevant, wear protective gear and change them between each use.
Add extra buffer time between meals to thoroughly clean and disinfect all kitchen tools and surfaces used.
Avoid close contact. Encourage others to eat their meals in their room instead of gathering around a table.
Use disposable tableware. Store away glass and metal tableware and swap them out for disposable ones. Serve food on disposable plates—even better, make them recyclable. Use disposable silverware. Always wash dishes with plenty of soap and hot water or set the dishwasher to high heat or sanitize.
Be quick to assist an ill loved one. Tell everyone in your home to notify you immediately if they're not feeling well, or experience any common symptoms of the virus. Assist them with staying in their room. Contact local health authorities and follow the protocol they provide. Ensure you have the appropriate emergency contact numbers for your area.
Encourage self-quarantine. If needed, follow local health regulations and assist your loved ones with staying put. Offer room service and leave meals outside their room. Make sure your other family members avoid contact with quarantined individuals. Minimize hysteria by encouraging them to share in the helpful duties, so they feel safe and productive.
OBSERVE SAFE GROCERY & RESTAURANT PRACTICES Encourage online ordering. Order food and groceries online or over the phone—for pickup or delivery. Suppliers like Walmart and DoorDash, are adjusting delivery zones. Take advantage of special offers and take-out options. Be patient, many restaurants are offering limited menu items and have been forced to cut dishes that may be impacted by shortages. If you must visit a store or restaurant, wear a mask, keep a safe distance from others and take advantage of cart and hand sanitizers.
Stock up on non perishables. Many of your favorites and fresh produce may be unavailable and delivery times may be delayed as the virus continues to spread. Make sure your pantry is well stocked with easy meal ingredients that can remain fresh long-term.
Wash your groceries. You are not the only person to have touched your delivered grocery items since it left the farm or factory. Keep in mind most products are handled by many people before they reach your home and though many businesses are doing their best to practice safe sanitation protocols, we can't be too safe. Wash and sanitize all of your grocery items before you store them away and wipe down any surfaces they sat on before being washed.
MODIFY YOUR DAILY ROUTINES
Work and study from home. Try to limit unnecessary outings and take advantage of businesses that offer contactless services, or shop and pay online using a phone or computer. If using a home delivery service, avoid on-screen signatures. You can always ask a delivery person to sign for you. Reschedule unnecessary appointments.
AVOID IN-PERSON MEETINGS & APPOINTMENTS
It's becoming increasingly important to remain at home to avoid spreading the virus. In light of this, here are some recommendations for those in the service industry.
Go virtual. While there is nothing like in-person human interaction, consider attending virtual courses and consultations through video or live stream. Many meetings and classes can be moved online using tools like Google Hangouts, Skype and more. Some barbers and hairdressers are offering guided step-by-step do-it-yourself services.
Be flexible. Postpone your meetings or appointments and allow others to do the same–especially if they don’t feel well or have traveled recently. Encourage them to reschedule to avoid unnecessary risks. Keep contact information up to date in case you need to reach out.
Postpone events and meetings. Unfortunately, postponing your event may be the best way to ensure you keep everyone safe. Change the date on your event page to a later date or set it to TBD.
Cancel events and meetings. If you can, cancel unnecessary events and meetings. Send an email notifying any attendees of the cancellation.
Keep attendees updated. Things can change very quickly. Share precautionary measures you’re taking to keep everyone safe. Add updates based on where people are and the measures they are taking to stay safe. Let others know in advance about changes using the following tools:
Send an email, broadcast a message or create a post on social media with links to relevant information.
Quickly to respond with updated and substantiated information to avoid confusion.
Move your event or meeting online. Determine if your event can take place virtually. If so, share links to your virtual meeting. Consider the following options:
Transform your event into a webinar.
Have a healthy tip that we missed? Let us know what you're doing to keep your business running smoothly.