This article briefly discusses:
- How did COVID-19 come about?;
- Difference between Coronavirus and Influenza;
- How to prevent the spread?;
- How businesses can protect employees from COVID-19;
- Technology to help prepare for an outbreak and mitigate risks.
Officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO) on February 11, 2020, the respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that was first detected in Central China’s city of Wuhan on December 8, 2019. COVID-19 has then spread to almost all countries with over 16 million confirmed cases worldwide.
The flu and COVID-19 are both respiratory diseases with similar symptoms, but they are caused by two different viruses. Here are some similarities and differences between COVID-19 and the flu.
In the absence of a medically approved vaccine for COVID-19, people are advised to follow precautionary measures to avoid getting infected and mitigate the further spread of the disease.
Adapting to the New Normal
With changes to regulations and how things are supposed to be done in order to adapt to what’s called the “new normal,” businesses and organizations have implemented processes to comply with directives to stay in operation and contribute to the effort of keeping stakeholders safe. New checklists and templates—such as COVID-19 symptoms checklist, covid sign-in sheet, and covid 19 cleaning and disinfection log template—are being followed to help keep covid at bay.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides some recommendations for individuals and families.
- Be alert for any update from public health officials regarding COVID-19 in your community.
- Consider household members who are at greater risk such as older adults and those with severe chronic illnesses and take actions to reduce the risk of getting infected.
- Update your emergency contact list that includes household members, community resources, and healthcare providers.
- Follow preventive measures such as frequent proper washing of hands, disinfection of frequently touched objects, and avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Use recommended checklists provided by schools or institutions to check if students, parents/guardians, or staff can report to the school or should stay at home and inform the school/employer.
- Prepare a room that can be used for isolation in case a household member gets sick.
Act (in case of an outbreak)
- The CDC recommends seeking immediate medical attention if you develop these emergency warning signs for COVID-19. However, this list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- Practice social distancing or maintaining distance from people as much as possible (6 feet).
- Stay away from others who are currently ill.
- For older adults and those with severe chronic illnesses:
- Stay at home and away from crowds as much as possible;
- have several weeks’ worth of medication and supplies if staying at home; and
- observe good hand hygiene.
- Cooperate with contact tracing efforts to better contain any outbreak in communities.
The spread of COVID-19 has impacted businesses and industries worldwide, and it is best for employers to determine ways to prevent COVID-19 from becoming an occupational hazard. Businesses and organizations can practice the following to mitigate risks in the workplace:
- Observe proper information dissemination in the workplace and cascade guidelines that employees can follow regarding COVID-19.
- Read and understand the CDC’s recommendation for employers:
- Employees should be informed and encouraged to stay at home when they’re not feeling well.
- Employees who are sick or become sick while in the workplace should be separated from other employees and sent home.
- Educate employees on proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
- Employers should encourage employees to take a free online course on COVID-19 etiquette.
- Environmental cleaning should be routine. Frequently touched surfaces should always be cleaned.
- Employees who travel are encouraged to check out travel advisories from the CDC website and follow the recommendation for each country.
- Employers should have a risk assessment conducted in the workplace to determine the level of risk of infection and come up with corresponding mitigation.
- Implement visitor or customer screening or sign-in sheets at every entrance to your business establishment.
- There are new regulations that require businesses to implement strict compliance with wearing face coverings within establishments. Non-compliance can lead to the shutdown of operations.
- In places where regulations do not require face coverings, business owners can enforce the wearing of face coverings within the premises for the safety of employees and other customers.
COVID-19 is the latest pandemic to impact the world with confirmed cases increasing exponentially everyday. In the absence of a vaccine, the best defence against COVID-19 is to ensure that recommended protocols are followed to prevent getting infected and control its spread. iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a powerful inspection tool that can help make sure that steps are taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. With iAuditor, you can:
- Follow recommended steps to prevent the further spread of COVID-19
- Proactively catch areas of concern and act quickly to correct vulnerabilities
- Immediately submit reports to provide updates to intended recipients
- Edit COVID-19 checklists to fit the unique needs of your organization
SafetyCulture provides the checklists, templates, and summaries below on a non-site specific and generic basis, and only for informational purposes. By using or downloading any of the checklists or templates, you are doing so at your own risk. You acknowledge that each checklist or template is not a substitute for professional advice.
COVID- (Coronavirus) Checklists
Covid Sign-in Sheet and Register Template
Use this covid sign-in sheet and register template for daily COVID-19 screening and sign-in for employees and visitors. With this screening and sign-in sheet template on a mobile device, you can limit the sharing and touching of paper-based writing materials between multiple employees and visitors. This template was created based on this source.
COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection Log Template Checklist
Use this cleaning and disinfection log template to record compliance with local regulations that require daily cleaning and disinfection as well as more frequent cleaning and disinfection of shared objects, surfaces that are frequently touched, and high transit areas like restrooms and common rooms. iAuditor templates are fully customizable to fit the needs of your establishment. This template was created based on a government template for cleaning and disinfection.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Home Office Self Assessment Checklist
Due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus more employees are being required or encouraged to work from home. Employees working from home can use this checklist to assess the suitability of their home office workspace. This checklist assesses personal health and wellbeing, lone worker considerations, and workspace safety.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Inspection Checklist
Use this COVID-19 Checklist to help ensure that your organization has taken all the preventative measures necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Hand Hygiene Checklist (WHO)
Use this hand hygiene audit checklist to assess hand hygiene practices based on WHO’s Five Moments and automatically measure the overall compliance score of unlimited hand hygiene observations.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Checklist for Individuals and Families (CDC)
Individuals can use this checklist to help families and communities take steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This checklist is derived from the Checklist for Individuals and Families by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Risk Assessment Template
Use this COVID-19 risk assessment template to conduct a risk assessment in your workplace and determine your organization’s vulnerability to COVID-19. Following CDC guidelines, come up with steps to prevent infection and mitigate the spread of the disease.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Hospital Readiness Checklist (CDC)
Hospitals can use this checklist to help ensure that the medical staff is equipped with addressing COVID-19 cases and help prevent its spread. This checklist is derived from the Hospital Preparedness Assessment Tool by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Screening Checklist for Visitors and Employees in Healthcare
Healthcare institutions and assisted living providers can use this COVID-19 screening checklist to help ensure the safety of their institutions and patients and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Healthcare Providers Preparedness Checklist (CDC)
This healthcare providers checklist can be used to review the steps in the preparation for transport and arrival of patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19. This checklist is derived from the Healthcare Professional Preparedness Checklist For Transport and Arrival of Patients With Confirmed or Possible COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Community and Faith-based Organizations Checklist (CDC)
Community and Faith-based Organizations can use this checklist to help ensure that key members can prepare for the outbreaks in their local community. This checklist is derived from the Checklist for Community and Faith Leaders by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) CDC Cleaning and Personal Hygiene Inspection Checklist
Follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Use this cleaning checklist in your workplace and empower the cleaning staff with the right steps in cleaning and disinfection.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Screening Checklist - Employee Temperature Check
Use this COVID-19 screening checklist to screen all employees who are entering a building. The intent of this COVID-19 screening checklist is to help building and facility security teams control the potential spread of COVID-19 in the workplace by checking those who wish to enter for signs of respiratory illness accompanied by fever (100.4°F or 38°C). Please note that this screening checklist provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Employee Temperature Log Sheet
Use this employee temperature log sheet to keep a record of employees’ temperature whenever they report in for work. Log as many temperature records as needed. This employee temperature log sheet template recognizes 100.3°F as the threshold and prompts a visual cue for 100.4°F and above temperature readings. iAuditor templates can be edited (such as changing °F to °C) to fit the needs of your organization.
Visitor Log (COVID-19)
Use this visitor log sheet to keep track of all customers and visitors that come to your business establishment daily. List as many customers or visitors as needed and capture information such as the date and time of visit, name of the customer, and contact details. In the event of exposure to COVID-19, information gathered can help with contact tracing efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.