Prepare Now for the Delta Variant Surge
Rising cases, and an easily-transmissible variant, have businesses crafting responses to a new stage of the pandemic.
The United States is experiencing a resurgence of new and active COVID-19 cases, which threatens to deflate the prospects for further returns to normalcy later in 2021. The cause of the rising case loads, and resulting strain on medical facilities and personnel, is a Delta variant surge.
Recent projections from the Covid-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, a consortium of researchers working in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anticipate cases will steadily increase through the remainder of the summer and well into fall. It’s disappointing news for employers looking to get workers back to the workplace, parents hoping to get their kids back in a school building for the upcoming year, and everyone who is dealing with the fatigue associated with the ongoing struggle.
With vaccination rates against the virus stuck on a plateau of roughly 50 percent in the U.S., and with many areas of the world well below that, COVID-19 has had a chance to gain a foothold and mutated into a new kind of virus. News is seemingly breaking daily about the characteristics of the mutation, and the incoming, expected Delta variant surge. For instance, in late July, it was reported that the CDC had internal documents indicating the Delta variant is more transmissible than the viruses that cause MERS, SARS, Ebola, the common cold, the seasonal flu, and smallpox. The documents also stated the variant is at least as contagious as chickenpox.
The Delta variant, a strain of the original COVID-19 virus, was first identified in India in December 2020. It has swept rapidly across the world since. The first Delta case in the U.S. was diagnosed in March, and Delta is now the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S.
The Delta variant needs to be accounted for, especially by businesses that may have recently just re-established return-to-work policies after pandemic restrictions across the country were lifted or alleviated this spring. Here are four things your company can do right now — including utilizing professional, consistent cleaning and disinfecting services — to prepare.
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How You Can Combat the Delta Variant Surge
There is some good news, despite the rising rates in infection and hospitalization due to the virus across the country. Even as the virus has evolved, employers have honed their strategies to keep the impact of possible infections in check. By continuing to be flexible and adaptive in their approaches, businesses can take steps now to mitigate outbreaks and contain threats. Here are four measures that have been effective.
Acquiring one of the several vaccines available remains the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, or death from the virus. In a May survey, the vast majority of employers (82%) said they communicated the importance of vaccination to their employees. Nearly two-thirds of employers offered time off for vaccination (62%) or time off for side effects associated with vaccination (58%).
Continuing to push the vaccination effort is the single most important thing employers can do to limit the possible spread and transmission of the virus in their facility or building.
Learn About Local Transmission Rates
The risk of workplace COVID-19 transmission is highly correlated with the community infection rate. If the weekly infection rate in your area is low (less than 10 per 100,000), your business can feel okay about having remote workers return to their facilities. However, in light of the Delta variant surge, these numbers are rising. In places where the rate exceeds 50 per 100,000, this risk is considered very high. Companies can reduce this risk by either delaying employees’ return, or keeping the total number of workers in the facility lower through staggered or hybrid schedules.
Figure Out a Mask Strategy
The CDC recommends all unvaccinated people wear masks when indoors with others, and the wearing of masks is promoted as providing protection against both being infected, and infecting others. Recently, some localities have reinstituted universal indoor masking. Mask mandates are expected to expand as the infection rate increases.
Detailing your organization’s approach to mask wearing will allow everyone to have clear guidelines to follow. You can avoid complaints under the Americans with Disabilities Act about masking requirements by following the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidelines.
Continued Cleaning & Disinfecting
While the scientific community is working to understand and prevent the spread of the Delta variant surge, it’s crucial for your business and others to be proactively cleaning and disinfecting facilities — not just once, but consistently.
The last year has demonstrated that consistent cleaning is a basic, easy-to-achieve defense against workplace spread. Also, disinfection services — in particular for high-touch, high-traffic surfaces and areas — has been judged as an efficient and effective safeguard.
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Jani-King of Cleveland Can Help
Now is not the time to dial back on essential cleaning and disinfection services, or to lose focus of the need to protect your employees and customers. The Delta variant surge may have arrived, but there is no industry or facility that won’t benefit from our professional services. Whether you’re located in an office building, a strip mall or business complex, run a restaurant, own a coworking space, or operate in any other type of work environment, cleaning and disinfection services help protect everyone associated with the facility.
With a three-stage plan — a risk assessment survey, implementation of the services, and then a full process review — we’ll deliver results you can count on. Using EPA-registered disinfectants and specialized tools like electrostatic spraying, our attention to detail will give you the confidence of knowing you’re doing all you can to protect your facility — and the people inside it — from potential infectious threats. Take no unnecessary risks as everyone braces for the next stage of pandemic response; go with the trusted, professional services of Jani-King to thwart the impact of the anticipated Delta variant surge.