Should We Still Enforce Social Distancing Measures?
One month into 2022 and we have already seen a significant spike of COVID-19 cases. The new Omicron variant has not made things easy for people around the world, as we still have a limited understanding about this particular new strain. Experts are working to determine the efficacy of different vaccines and the risk of causing severe illness. It is likely that the Omicron variant has a higher infection rate and it is expected that breakthrough infections will occur even with people who have been fully vaccinated.
The debate for when this pandemic will end remains. In the meantime, we should continue to keep our community and workplace safe with proper social distancing measures.
According to a recent study, social distancing policies have shown to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The implementation of the policies have successfully avoided 84% of potential COVID-19 cases (point estimate: 499.3K) and 66% of potential fatalities (5.4K) in Germany.
So how can we maintain social distancing in the workplace and keep everyone safe?
Businesses can establish a few arrangements to help create a safe working environment, while employees can protect themself by following these few tips:
1.Cleaning Stations & Sanitation
Keeping the office clean comes hand in hand with social distancing measures. Coronavirus can be transferred from people to the surface, and passed on to others who touch the same surface. By carrying out sanitation work at a regular pace and having good personal hygiene, this can minimise the spread of COVID-19.
With most workplaces being indoors, it is desirable to bring fresh air into enclosed areas by opening windows and doors. Businesses should avoid overcrowding workspaces as well if ventilation is poor, since this could increase the risk of transmission.
3. Wear Face Masks
Having a face mask protects not only yourself, but also the people surrounding you. When people who have symptoms such as coughing and sneezing do not wear a mask, it will greatly increase the risk of spreading coronavirus when in close contact.
4. Stay 2 Meters Apart
Evidence has suggested that the risk of transmission increases by 2-10 times at 1m compared to 2m when carrying out social distancing. This is to prevent any direct contact or aerosol transmission when coming near an infectious person, maintaining this distance can efficiently lower the risks of being infected by other people.
While there are no new isolation rules in place, we should all adhere to the established regulations in order to prevent passing on coronavirus to anyone else. It is important that if you have tested positive for coronavirus or start having symptoms, you should follow the government's self-isolation rules in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.