Here's How to Avoid COVID-19 at Work

    Here's How to Avoid COVID-19 at Work

    Considering that most areas in the Philippines are under Alert Level 1, and that more and more people are getting their vaccines, it’s no surprise for employees to go back to their respective offices and establishments for work. In this article, we will talk about the steps on how to avoid COVID at work.

    Get Vaccinated

    The first step you can take is to make sure that you already have your COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are safe and effective in preventing COVID-related hospitalizations and death. They also lower the risk of infection.

    Know The Risk of Contracting COVID-19 at Work

    The first step on how to avoid COVID at work is to understand that you can get infected while you’re:

    • Traveling to your workplace
    • Staying inside the office, doing your work
    • Traveling for work-related reasons
    • Going back home

    Knowing that you can get infected in these instances will help you make a plan on how to better protect yourself from COVID-19.

    Consider the Nature of Your Work

    To avoid COVID at work you to consider the nature of your profession.

    For instance, working in a healthcare setting demands that you wear several layers of personal protective equipment or PPEs.

    On the other hand, if you’re a delivery personnel or a driver you might want to devise a contact-free system. Why not try accepting online payments? You can also put a “no-change” policy and place an exact-amount payment box in your vehicle where customers can drop their payment.

    Basically, if the risk of exposure is high in your workplace, then you must wear PPE.

    Protect Yourself While Going to Work

    Next, make plans on how to avoid getting the coronavirus while you’re going to your workplace.

    If you have a car, make sure to properly disinfect its interiors. Since the proper ways of disinfection vary depending on the model of the car, you might need to seek expert help. Either talk to a car expert or see if your car’s website has already offered some guidelines. Also, make sure that your car is well-ventilated. If possible, open the windows to promote air circulation.

    For commuters, you can head over to this article to learn about the guidelines you need to follow to avoid getting COVID-19.

    Prevent Coronavirus Spread in the Office

    Most business and companies will release their protocols, but if you’re working in an office setting, you can take the following measures to avoid COVID at work:

    Wash your hands frequently

    If there’s one measure that experts always recommend, it’s handwashing.

    Doctors recommend employees to wash their hands for 20 seconds using running water and hand soap. If water and hand soap are not accessible at the moment, use rubbing alcohol or sanitizer with at least 60% of ethyl alcohol.

    But how frequently should you wash your hands? According to experts, in general, and in the context of COVID-19 prevention, you must wash your hands:

    • Once you’ve arrived at work, especially after using public transportation
    • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
    • When your hands are visibly dirty
    • After visiting a public space (e.g. you went on a face-to-face meeting)
    • After touching objects, like money, documents, or high-touch surfaces like doorknobs or elevator buttons, etc.
    • Before and after eating
    • Before and after using the toilet
    • After handling garbage

    Keep distance from others

    Another mainstay tip to prevent coronavirus spread in the office is physical distancing.

    Experts maintain that employees should stay 6 feet apart from each other. If there’s a meeting, seats should be arranged properly. If it’s possible to conduct the meeting outdoors, in an open space, it would be much better. This is because airconditioning may be a factor in COVID-19 spread.

    Moreover, you should avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    Disinfect common office items

    To avoid COVID at work, don’t forget to wipe your desk and other objects with disinfectant.

    For example, clean your keyboard with disinfecting wipes frequently. Do the same with your telephone, especially if it’s shared among employees.

    It’s a good idea to look at the items on your desk and note the things that need frequent disinfection.

    Wear a mask

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), to avoid COVID at work, you need to wear a mask if physical distancing is not achievable.

    Typically, your workplace will decide if the wearing of a mask will be required. They will base the recommendation on their risk assessment.

    In general, masks might be required if:

    • Your job has a medium or high risk of infection.
    • You have underlying health conditions that may make you vulnerable (for instance, you have a heart disease, diabetes, or you’re pregnant)

    Avoid touching your face

    Finally, to avoid COVID at work, keep in mind that you should refrain from touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.

    For this measure, consider switching from contacts to eyeglasses. That way, there will be no need for you to touch your eyes when removing your contacts.

    Also, take note of your hairstyle. If your hair tends to get in your face, consider wearing a headband or pulling your hair up in a bun.

    Have a Plan When Returning Home

    In going home, take the same protective steps you had while going to work. Furthermore, upon arriving home, you can:

    • Shower and change before entering your home.
    • Or have a bag ready near the entrance of your home where you can place your dirty clothes. Don’t forget to wash your hands before putting on your clean clothes.
    • Wash your clothes or soak them in water with laundry detergent right away.
    • Leave your shoes outside.
    • Disinfect items like your bag, cellphone, and wallet before taking them inside your home.

    Take Care of Yourself

    Of course, don’t forget to take added measures to keep yourself healthy.

    Eat nutritious foods, get adequate rest and sleep, and consider talking to your doctor about the possibility of taking supplements to boost your immune system.

    Finally, stay mentally healthy by managing stress and avoiding burnout.

    Key Takeaways

    To prevent the coronavirus spread in the office, you need to get vaccinated and carefully consider the nature of your work. Are you in a healthcare setting? Do you deliver packages? Or are you in an office setup? From there, think about the different aspects of your work and see where you can take measures to protect yourself from COVID-19. The key is to be consistently vigilant, knowing that COVID-19 infection can happen anywhere, to anyone.

    Learn more about COVID-19 here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD

    General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated May 02, 2022