What can businesses and organizations do to reduce the spread of a flu virus?
- Always support and encourage employees to stay home when sick. Ask individuals with influenza-like illness to stay home for 24 hours after symptoms resolve.
- To reduce the burden on the health care sector, allow employees who have been sick with flu-like illness to return to work without a doctor’s note.
- Educate your employees about the flu and health habits that prevent the spread of disease. For messages and interactive learning tools, click here.
- To learn more about seasonal, H1N1 swine, and pandemic flu refer employees to the SFDPH website, here, or to speak with a live operator about their questions or concerns to the telephone information line 311.
- Promote healthy habits in the work setting: Make tissues, trash cans, paper towels, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer available; post signs encouraging staff to utilize healthy habits (to order free signs from the health department click here); encourage seasonal flu shots; consider planning a seasonal flu shot day at your organization (for information, click here)
- Maintain a clean and healthy work environment. Ensure that EPA certified disinfectants are used to frequently clean commonly touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, hand rails, bathroom surfaces, countertops).
- Keep heating and ventilation systems in good working order, in accordance with
system specifications and any applicable regulations.
- Finalize or refresh your organization’s Continuity of Operations Plan: include a staffing plan for a reduced workforce; if appropriate, consider telecommuting options for those who need to stay home.
- Train staff to implement the plan and to fill critical positions.
- Test your plan with an exercise.
- For business continuity planning tools and templates, click here.
- Stockpile materials: surgical face masks, tissues, soap or hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies.