If there’s one thing that has become painfully clear during the most recent weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that the novel coronavirus continues to spread. With no vaccines or effective treatments yet available, the only tools available to fight the virus is hand washing, social distancing, wearing facemasks, and finding ways to create other physical barriers between people. Nowhere are these issues more important than government buildings. The entire nation needs its government workers to be adequately protected at work to keep government functioning at all levels.
Government Personnel Need Glass Protection from COVID-19
When you think about the number of U.S. federal government buildings, then add in all the state and local government buildings that exist across the nation, you’re looking at a staggering number of workers who need adequate protection from the coronavirus in each and every government workplace area where people are keeping up the vital functions of government in serving citizens. Protecting the health and safety of government workers in government buildings must be a top priority. As a manufacturer of bullet-resistant protective glass, Creative Industries is ready to make our products available in government buildings everywhere to support the battle against the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. Together, we can stop this virus from spreading and provide additional protection to government personnel. Call us at 800-776-2068 to find out how we can help!
Strategies for Stopping the Spread of the Virus in a Pandemic
What the most knowledgeable medical experts have been saying all along remains true. Frequent hand washing is critical as good old-fashioned soap destroys the virus, though you have to be thorough in lathering it up and really getting every nook and cranny of your hands. Social distancing remains important as well, as does wearing facemask when out and about or in close proximity to others. The eyes are a particularly vulnerable point of entry for the virus to gain access to the human body, which is why eye protection can be important as well.
You’ve no doubt seen the addition of various kinds of glass and other transparent protective barriers in convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retail business establishments to place a physical barrier between store employees and customers. But these glass barriers can also be used in a variety of office settings where employee workstations are located in close proximity to each other, including the many thousands of government buildings where millions of people work in federal, state, and local government. For example, bull-pen style cubicles with low walls could be enhanced with protective glass risers to increase the height of physical barriers between workers. These barriers can be bulletproof or not according to your needs. Need more information on we do? Check out our product pages, but understand we can customize any transparent protective barrier material to fit your workplace’s unique needs.
CDC Guidelines for Office Buildings to Stop the Spread
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidelines for office buildings in June that need to have employees come back to work. Some of the strategies are quite extensive, including conducting a thorough hazard assessment, taking steps to improve building ventilation through adjustments to HVAC systems, and engaging in daily sanitation practices to disinfect offices. But the most basic and probably best of the guidelines revolved around modifying social distancing and physical separation in the workplace:
Modify or adjust seats, furniture, and workstations to maintain social distancing of 6 feet between employees. Install transparent shields or other physical barriers where possible to separate employees and visitors where social distancing is not an option. Arrange reception or other communal seating area chairs by turning, draping (covering chair with tape or fabric so seats cannot be used), spacing, or removing chairs to maintain social distancing. Use methods to physically separate employees in all areas of the facilities including work areas and other areas such as meeting rooms, break rooms, parking lots, entrance and exit areas, and locker rooms. Use signs, tape marks, or other visual cues such as decals or colored tape on the floor, placed 6 feet apart, to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible. Replace high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks, with alternatives such as pre-packaged, single-serving items.
Every government building and site has a role to play in protecting the health of its workers, and in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, that role must include preventing the spread of the pathogen and infection because we know many people are asymptomatic and shed the virus even though they don’t show any sign of being sick. Our glass barrier products can do exactly what the CDC recommends for physical separation, and we can customize them to fit any setting in any building.
The Pandemic is Far from Being Over
When it became clear that the novel coronavirus outbreak was becoming a COVID-19 pandemic with especially harsh consequences for those with greater risk of complications and death, states took action to put in place stay-home orders, shutting down of non-essential businesses, and making sure people knew how serious this was. And yet not all states did the same things at the same time, and some were reluctant to take what many felt were drastic actions to stop the spread of the virus. Still, after weeks and even months of restrictions and quarantine, people were anxious to start opening things up. In some cases, the states that that did the least in enacting and enforcing restrictions were the ones to open back up the fastest, and the results in some of those states have been a shockingly high spike in infection rates, hospitalizations, which means a spike in the number of COVID-19 deaths will also be coming soon.
What no one wants is rollercoaster of shutting down, opening back up, and then having to shut down again to get the coronavirus back under control. The economic hardship and strain that has already been caused is extreme. Testing and tracing infrastructure still isn’t where it needs to be in order to get a true handle on this pandemic. This is especially the case when so many people can end up carrying and transmitting the virus without ever getting sick or showing a single symptom. This is also why wearing a face mask in public makes sense because it can help keep asymptomatic carriers of the virus from spreading it when they’re not social distancing.
Getting Back to Work in Government Buildings of All Types
Coronavirus transmission will necessarily go up in office buildings if employees come back to work and adequate control programs and policies haven’t been put into practice. Continued vigilance and the right measure in the right place will help a lot. And it’s important to keep in mind that this disease will continue to wreak havoc because there are still no vaccines or effective treatments available. In fact, it might still be quite some time until either one of those emerges from the valiant efforts of scientists around the planet. We don’t even know for sure if having the disease once actually makes a person truly immune to it! Even when those do become available, scaling up their availability and distribution will take additional time. There is still a shortage in basic supplies needed for routine testing to ramp up to the needed levels.
This is why doing everything possible to thwart the spread of the virus in government office buildings, whether it’s the Federal government of the United States, a state government, or a local government, is critical to address this crisis while at the same time keeping government functions up and running. American government facilities across the nation would do well to get serious about how to bring people back to work safely.
The stepped-up attention to hand hygiene, whether through soap and water or a sufficiently potent hand sanitizer (not disinfectant, which can be harmful to the skin), along with social distancing and mask-wearing, are among the primary directives coming out of the healthcare and medical professional community. And when social distancing isn’t possible with employees coming to work and spending significant amounts of time in a confined space, then additional physical separators in the form of transparent barriers should become a priority. And Creative Industries is ready to help with any configuration of transparent shields and protective glass barriers in your government building.