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Vaccinations and Tips for Protecting Yourself and Others When Returning to Work

Two topics on everyone’s minds are COVID vaccinations and how to protect yourself if you have to go into the office or to a work site.

Vaccination distribution is picking up speed and, as of the time of this posting, is mostly available for the at-risk population and essential workers. As 2021 marches on, though, individual businesses and countries may be installing local requirements for vaccination.

Transportation providers, communities, large population event venues, business offices, and other places may require proof of a vaccination to be admitted into a building or a meeting or to interact with employees face-to-face. If you and your family members get vaccinated, be sure to obtain proof of vaccination from the provider(s) for both the initial and booster inoculation when two shots are required.

TIP: Personal Privacy

For information privacy purposes, have separate proof of vaccination documents that aren’t a part of your regular home health records. If it’s an all-in-one record, you may not want to provide all of your personal and family data to requestors.

If it is a combined record, make a copy and redact as much of the other personal information as possible. Create a PDF version, scan, redact (if needed), and save all vaccination verification documents (record of vaccination/appointments/completions). Travel with paper copies and an electronic version as well.

TIP: Computer and Office Personal Hygiene

When you enter a work office or site, it’s important to maintain a high degree of personal hygiene, such as frequent and thorough hand-washing, covering your face while coughing or sneezing, social distancing, and wearing face coverings that can help mitigate the spread of disease. COVID prevention is likely to be with us for most of 2021.

Exclude or limit sharing office machines and IT equipment—laptops, notebooks, phones, touchscreens, and writing utensils—as well as touching shared surfaces, such as IT tables and places that require employees to perform hand and surface touching. Think hygiene before and after contact. Use wipes or wear gloves.

Do not use bleach to clean electronic equipment, especially keyboards. Keyboards and equipment can be lightly wiped with an alcohol-water (60-90%) solution. Allow it to sit for a short time (30-60 seconds) on surfaces and keys and then gently wipe dry. Do not saturate or allow ponding when spraying keys and surfaces. Read labels for proper product use.

When using a disinfectant, it’s important to follow the contact time found on the label.

A few more tips for disinfectant include:

  • Avoid excessive wiping and submerging items in cleanser.
  • Unplug all external power sources and cables when cleaning.
  • Do not use aerosol sprays or abrasive cleaners.
  • Ensure moisture doesn’t get into openings.

We’ll all be healthier if we follow these hygiene and safety tips. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@gpstrategies.com.

About the Authors

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Joe LaFleur

Joe LaFleur, Director of the GP Strategies Corporate Crisis Management Program, has been with GP for 10 years. He holds the distinction of being the first person in history to be a gubernatorial-appointed state emergency management director for two states: Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. He was also a senior executive with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.