Officially known as COVID-19, the newly discovered coronavirus strain is responsible for putting the world on edge with more than 75,000 confirmed cases over 29 territories globally as of 19 February 2020 (CNN). Despite this, many people in less affected areas are still carrying on with their daily routines. While certain occupations and industries allow for employees to work from home, there are many others that have to show up to the office as usual.
In this article, we will discuss how you can prevent the spread of coronavirus in an office environment as well as other general tips on keeping a clean office.
How Coronavirus Spreads
While the exact dynamics of how this coronavirus is transmitted human to human are yet to be determined, respiratory viruses are usually transmitted through droplets produced by an infected person’s cough or sneezes. This includes both direct and indirect contact such as touching something that has been contaminated by the virus. Touching your eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated hands can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
According to the World Health Organization, there are several standard hygiene practices one can utilise in keeping the virus in check. When you feel a need to cough or sneeze, do it with a tissue, medical mask or into your flexed elbow if need be. Avoid close contact with anyone that is feeling unwell. Properly use a mask and regularly wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. If you are showing symptoms such as a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical help immediately. (WHO International, 2020)
How to Clean and Disinfect Your Office Space
For office workers in Asia Pacific right now planning to give their work station a scrub down, here are some procedures. The first step in how to disinfect your office space is to prepare your cleaning tools. These include your mask, disposable gloves, and a bleach solution or appropriate disinfectant that contains at least 70% ethyl alcohol. During your office clean up, make sure you have a good ventilation.
The next step is to prepare the disinfectant and mop the floor of your office from one end to another. Avoid going from uncleaned areas to cleaned areas as to not dirty the cleaned area. When it comes to how to clean your office desk, use a disposable rag to wipe frequently touched areas, such as your keyboard, mouse, telephone, and armrest. Outside of your workstation, be conscious to clean places like doorknobs, handles, and switches as well. (CDC, 2020)
Once you are done, with your gloves and mask on, throw all used rags, as well as other waste, into a double-lined plastic trash bag. Remove your gloves and surgical mask, then wash your hands with soap and water. Separate clean-up waste from other office waste.
Outside the Office
Beyond the tips mentioned above, it is important to practice normal hygiene measures in the face of this epidemic. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices. Avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities. In general, remember to stay cautious and take good care of personal hygiene.