Reopening? Here's the latest.
As more people get vaccinated, thoughts turn to how to reopen our buildings safely to employees, clients/patients/students, vendors, and visitors.
Keep doing what we’re doing, for now
The percentage of people that need to be vaccinated to achieve “herd immunity” for COVID-19 is not yet known. Herd immunity against measles requires about 95% of a population to be vaccinated. The remaining 5% will be protected by the fact that measles will not spread among those who are vaccinated. For polio, the threshold is about 80% (Source: World Health Organization). The more contagious a disease is, the greater the proportion of the population that needs to be immune to the disease to stop its spread, according to MayoClinic.org.
As of last week, only 34% of adults in the United States have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So, to slow the spread of this disease, we must continue to wear masks, stay 6 feet apart, avoid crowds, keep surfaces clean, and wash our hands often.
Protect your work “bubble” from visitors
These stringent preventive measures, and more, apply especially to any and all visitors that come to your facility. They are outside the “bubble” of your work setting, and you likely don’t know where they’ve been.
How to safely manage your visitors:
- Control where visitors go upon entering.
- Limit how many visitors you allow at a time and how long you allow them to stay.
- Screen your visitors. Approve or refuse entry.
- If you allow visitors to enter, sign them in as having been screened and give them a badge to wear prominently until the end of their visit.
- Retrieve every visitor’s badge or issue visitor badges that expire, so they can’t be reused.
You can do all of the above with our full line of visitor badge rolls and books and eVisitor software packages. They are all effective, easy to use, and less expensive than you might think, especially our software, which has the added benefit of instantly changing how you identify every visitor (printing “screened” on their badge, for example) and quickly accessing records for contact tracing.
Follow the science
Meanwhile, the website for the CDC contains much more advice for how to open, depending on your situation. For example, organizations whose buildings have been completely shut down may have more to contend with (such as mold and the effects of standing water in lead or copper pipes) than those that have remained active.
The CDC devotes a huge part of its website to COVID-19, so there are lots of resources to help keep you and those close to you safe, both professionally and personally. It updates this information as more is learned and conditions change. The site includes sections titled “Work & School,” with a wide range of community-related and industry-specific topics, and “Healthcare Workers” and “Health Depts,” which address patient care, worker safety, and facility management for both hospital and non-hospital settings.
Of course, these guidelines may differ from those that your state has set up. Check your state’s website. If you research this topic on Google or other search engines, be sure to specify a recent time frame so your results are up to date. Stay safe!
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