cold and flu season

5 tips for navigating cold and flu season

SC Johnson Professional highlights five steps facility managers can take right now ahead of winter.
Monday, November 22, 2021

With many experts warning of a potential resurgence in flu cases this winter, facility managers and cleaning staff must take action now to mitigate the effects of cold and flu season.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that influenza has resulted in between nine million and 45 million illnesses each year since 2010 and that these illnesses lead to 111 million lost workdays and cost businesses an estimated US$16.3 million annually.

To minimize the impact of the cold and flu season on your business this year, it is important to develop a comprehensive plan involving targeted hygiene, surface and skincare, and the right behaviours within your facility.

SC Johnson Professional has offered guidance with five steps that facility managers can take right now ahead of cold and flu season.

Develop a targeted hygiene program

To break the chain of infection in public facilities, follow targeted hygiene guidance that focuses on hygiene behaviour rather than just routine cleaning and disinfection. To prevent frequent recontamination, combine cleaning and disinfecting surfaces with effective hand hygiene at the eight high-risk moments when hands can become contaminated.

Encourage proper hand hygiene

Place signage in washrooms encouraging hand washing and reinforcing proper handwashing techniques. Make sure hand sanitizer is available in strategic locations where soap and water may not be available such as entrances/exits and hallways. Offer hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol to help reduce the spread of germs. To prevent skin dryness, opt for products that contain moisturizers.

Commit to the right products

Facility managers should check product labels and choose appropriate products to clean and disinfect the surfaces present in their facility. Consider disinfectants that are effective against viruses like norovirus and influenza as well as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Keep an appropriate amount of inventory in stock so staff does not run out at inconvenient times.

Read labels and follow application instructions

Kill claims for viruses and bacteria vary by product. Be sure to read product labels carefully and thoroughly before use and follow proper application instructions, maintaining recommended contact times to achieve the stated kills claim. Set aside time to train staff on proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques, in accordance with product instructions.

Encourage proper etiquette

Finally, it is important to promote proper etiquette among employees, occupants, and visitors. This includes practicing social distancing, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing, washing or sanitizing hands at the appropriate times, and asking workers to stay home when they feel ill.

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