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Some states in the US are already looking to reopen business and reactivate the economy safely. As that happens, entrepreneurs might be battling to do so safely, and we want to help them achieve that. Here’s a summary of the most significant aspects outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as we attempt to answer “What are the CDC reopening guidelines?” For the full set of them, you can always visit the official CDC website directly.
To begin, the CDC’s main piece of advice is that everyone who’s opening up again comes up with a well-thought-out plan. And businesses need to keep that document updated by revising it frequently.
All of what we outline here comes from CDC’s guidelines, of course. Those further stem from the US government’s instructions for opening up America again, which is “a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts.” Let’s get to our summary of them now.
The CDC guidelines focus on two main controls as a whole. Number one focuses on how to handle personal practices best. Number two directs how to clean and disinfect workplaces. They set the order to these that way as they’ll most likely be the most significant challenges you’ll face during your plan’s implementation.
On the personal practice side, CDC’s guidelines are clear:
We’ve all probably heard all of these recommendations repeatedly during this pandemic. Yet, our reopening to business doesn’t mean we can let our guards down. On the contrary, implement these measures strictly as the virus keeps roaming our social spheres.
Let’s now move on to the second aspect of the CDC reopening guidelines. This section has everything to do with cleaning and disinfecting a place opening up to the public. While we tend to focus on the business aspect of these guidelines, these certainly apply to homes and even schools.
One of the CDC’s first considerations has to do with the proper supplies needed to fight the new coronavirus. Of course, this means having to buy supplies and implement practices you might not be aware of at this point. And setting those up the right way will require lengthy considerations depending on your space.
The US Environmental Protection Agency took a stand and issued a list of EPA approved disinfectants against COVID-19. These include ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. They recommend these because there are tests and solid proof that they kill viruses that are even stronger than COVID-19.
Yet, if none of the above specific products are available in your area, the CDC also gives you alternatives. For instance, you can use ⅓ of a cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water as a disinfecting solution. Or you can use one made out of 70% alcohol.
Just be mindful when you use and create these disinfecting alternatives. You shouldn’t ever mix bleach with any other cleaning products. And its fumes are also hazardous. They will cause difficulty breathing and won’t even be useful for more than 24 hours after you blend them. Bleach can also cause allergies, and your skin can quickly burn when it comes in contact with it. Prolong its use, and you can promptly find your skin turning red from coming in close contact with it. Also, be careful as bleach can cause permanent damage to the nerves and tissues in you or your team’s eyes.
Above all, don’t experiment with products. Though making our mix might sound easy and cheaper, it’s worth trying to locate one of the disinfectants approved by the EPA that we list above. Our personal experiences at home go along the lines of that, as well. And this also reminds us that ventilation is essential when using bleach-based solutions.
Now, think about your physical space in terms of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Doing all of that will require plenty of time to evaluate and decide what you can do about it all.
First, think about the space you’ll open up to customers or visitors. Consider the type of surfaces you have, the number of people occupying these areas, and any other conditions specific to your environment.
When thinking about cleaning surfaces, think about two types. There are porous kinds and hard surfaces. They are very different from one another and thus require different care. There are two distinct cleaning and disinfecting processes for each.
Hard surfaces are easier to clean and disinfect. They require regular soap and water. That already reduces the risk of virus exposure. Yet, take note that the washing part of this is necessary before you disinfect these surfaces. One thing is to wash, another to disinfect, and the difference is a crucial one to understand. Also, make sure to wear gloves for the disinfecting part. It’s disinfection that will reduce the risk by killing germs. You can follow up on an exclusive CDC webpage for this, as well.
Hard surfaces that are frequently touched, which include light switches, tables, handles, toilets, glass, plastic, keyboards, faucets, and so many more areas, should be much more frequently cleaned and disinfected than less commonly used surfaces. If you’ll have children walking in, be extra careful of anything they might put in their mouths. You just can’t disinfect such items the same.
Porous surfaces, on the other hand, are harder to keep clean and disinfected. Porous materials include area rugs and seating. If you’re able to remove these kinds of items from public spaces or store them right off the bat, do so. That will considerably help you minimize the daring challenge of cleaning and disinfecting these materials. The proper instructions to safely clean and disinfect these should be on its labels. Check the individual instructions therein.
Another item to keep in mind is the safe storage and handling of your disinfecting and washing materials. Furthermore, take into account how you need to ensure the safety of anyone and everyone who’s handling those resources regularly. It’s your legal duty to do so. So, do your best to ensure their safeguarding and that of others. For instance, these members of your team need to wear appropriate PPE for cleaning and disinfecting.
To help, think of labeling correctly, placing visible instructions, and rolling out your washing and disinfecting plans to everyone in your work teams. Do your best to be fully in control not only of the virus as it potentially comes knocking at your business doors as customers walk in but moreover of your teams and their protective measures for everyone’s well-being. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website can help you follow your duties in this sense.
Before we go, take a deep healing breath if the area you’ll reopen has been closed longer than a full week. As the virus can’t live longer than 7 days, you can clean it as usual before the pandemic and only go into these full-effect disinfection measures once you reopen.
Also, if you’re dealing with an outdoor space, those require different care, most of which include no need for disinfection. Those in the food industry, of course, have different outlines to follow. But we just wanted to let you know to look further if any outdoor areas are a part of your reopening plan.
We hope we have been of help in answering the question of what are the CDC reopening guidelines? You should always adhere to any peculiar federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local guidance in your area, so be mindful of that. Make it a case to check up on those to stay within legal confines to your business reopening. And let us know if we can lend a hand in any other way.