As the coronavirus spreads across the United States, it's more important than ever to keep yourself healthy and safe.
Also known as COVID-19, the coronavirus spreads between person-to-person, specifically through a cough or sneeze. It's also possible to contract the virus by touching a surface that has been infected with the virus, and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes, according to the CDC.
Want to keep printing and not be quarantined? To prevent getting the illness, the CDC has a few pointers:
- Stay away from people who are sick
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Stay home if you're sick
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, and throw the tissue away
- Wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Do not wear a face mask if you're health (face masks should only be worn by people who are sick in order to prevent them from spreading the virus)
The CDC says that symptoms may appear 2-14 days after being exposed. Symptoms are a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If you or someone you know experience these systems, get to a doctor ASAP.
If you get sick, the CDC has a few ideas of what you should do:
- Stay home
- Keep away from loved ones and pets
- Get to your doctor, but let them know you're coming in due to the virus so they can take the necessary steps to ensure others do not get sick
- Wear a face mask
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Wash your hands a lot
- Don't share personal items like dishes, cups, utensils, towels, etc.
- Clean surfaces everyday
- Monitor your symptoms
The CDC has laid out guidelines for businesses on how to prevent the coronavirus from entering your business:
- Encourage sick employees to stay home
- Separate sick employees
- If an employee is home sick, emphasize to practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene
- Clean your space continuously
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
Little things you can do is provide hand sanitizer and tissues around the shop, place posters that show hand hygiene and proper cough and sneeze etiquette, clean all touched surfaces daily, and have disposable wipes by commonly used surfaces.
Be flexible, the CDC advises not to require a healthcare provider's note in order for the employee to stay home. If one of your employees has a sick family member, you should also support their choice to stay home to take care of the sick member (plus, they also may be a carrier. If this issue arises, learn how to conduct a risk assessment).
If one of your employees does contract the virus, employers should notify employees, but maintain confidentiality required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the sick employee was working around others, you may have to perform a risk assessment on them as well.
The CDC also suggests creating a plan if an outbreak occurs in the US. To determine what your plan may look like, research the disease severity in your community, impact of disease on employees who are more vulnerable to the virus, prepare for higher numbers of absent employees and how to handle it, and coordinate with state and local health officials so that you get accurate information about the virus in your community. Once you have a backup plan in place, make sure to inform your employees so they're aware of what may possibly come.
Just because a virus is spreading doesn't mean your business will come to a halt. If you need more supplies or equipment, try ordering through our app. You don't have to leave to get the supplies, or hold up your phone to your face (TIME reports that your phone is 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat, YUCK!). We have the app available for both Android and iPhone users. Order from your fingertips, and wash your hands right after you complete your order.
Wipe down every surface in your shop, tell employees to stay home if they're sick, ramp up on hygienic practices, and order through the app. Please stay safe, printers. We care about you and your wellbeing. Do what you can to stay healthy. As always, keep #poweringtheprint, especially through tough times like these.