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Practical ways to decrease the spread virus at work, school and home

With more than 1,300 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and 36 deaths due to the virus, proactive measures to decrease its spread are being taken.

On Thursday, North Carolina’s confirmed cases jumped from seven to 12; those who have tested positive located in Chatham, Durham, Forsyth, Johnston and Wake counties. Across the U.S. cancellations of major events are taking place: the NBA season was cancelled after two players tested positive for the virus, as well as the NCAA basketball tournaments. In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that all Ohio schools would be closed for three weeks on an extended spring break as school officials across the nation consider their options.

On a smaller scale, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are offering some simple guidance for workplaces, schools and at home to slow the spread of coronavirus now, before it shows up.

PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE AT WORK, AT SCHOOL AND AT HOME

  • Stop handshaking and use other noncontact methods of greetings.
  • Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand-washing reminders by email.
  • Create habits and reminders for employees to avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, desks and handrails regularly.
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.

 

IN THE WORKPLACE

  • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible, or hold meetings in open well-ventilated spaces.
  • Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings.
  • Assess the risks of business travel.
  • Limit food sharing.
  • Strengthen health screening for cafeteria staff and their close contacts.
  • Stay home if feeling sick.
  • Stay home if they have a sick family member.

 

IN THE SCHOOLS

  • Consider adjusting or postponing gatherings that mix between classes and grades.
  • Adjust after-school arrangements to avoid mixing between classes and grades.
  • When possible, hold classes outdoors or in open, well-ventilated spaces.
  • Limit food sharing.
  • Strengthen health screening for cafeteria staff and their close contacts.
  • Stay home if feeling sick.
  • Stay home if they have a sick family member.

 

IN HOUSEHOLDS

If a household has vulnerable seniors or those with significant underlying medical conditions:

  • Have the healthy people in the household conduct themselves as if they were a significant risk to the person with underlying conditions. For example, wash hands frequently before interacting with the person, such as by feeding or caring for the person.
  • If possible, provide a protected space for vulnerable household members.
  • Ensure all utensils and surfaces are cleaned regularly.

If a household has a sick family member:

  • Give sick members their own room if possible, and keep the door closed.
  • Have only one family member care for them.
  • Consider providing additional protections or more intensive care for household members over 65 years old or with underlying conditions.

 

COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS

  • Use booking and scheduling to stagger customer flow.
  • Use online transactions where possible.
  • Consider limiting attendance at larger gatherings.

For transportation businesses, taxis and ride shares:

  • Keep windows open when possible.
  • Increase ventilation.
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces.