Coronavirus News & Resources
Steps to Follow During COVID-19 Lockdown

We at FCS have been hard at work during the lockdown helping our clients prepare for re-opening and managing the risks of infection during each level of lockdown. We have developed a number of procedures and checklists for each type of industry for such preparation based on the NICD, NIOH, WHO and our own understanding of contamination. We have also developed a COVID-19 risk assessment audit that helps industry demonstrate their readiness to open, which has been successful for our clients, such as was demonstrated by one of our hotel clients. 

Steps to follow during COVID-19 lockdown

To this end, we have had many requests for assistance in not only the risk audit but also to aid in the implementation of the COVID-19 Procedures. To further supplement our free COVID-19 online training, we have put together this article on what steps to follow during  COVID-19 lockdown and how to implement the COVID-19 procedures.

Training of staff in COVID-19 Awareness

Foremost is the requirement to train staff in the understanding of COVID-19 and how SARS CoV-2 causes the infection and how to prevent it from happening. Staff on all levels must understand the risks of infection and subsequently how to prevent it. We have provided access to such training that you and your teams can access here in order to fulfil this requirement.

Here are the basics steps to follow during COVID-19 Lockdown:

  1. Wearing a mask in public at all times.
  2. Regular hand washing and sanitising
  3. Maintaining social distancing
  4. Keeping good respiratory hygiene.

Strict hygiene and cleaning measures

As you prepare for opening a full deep clean and disinfection of the entire facility should take place. Your pest control and technical suppliers should be brought in resolve concerns that may have developed during your absence. This will include cleaning and disinfection of the hot and cold water system, which may have remained stagnant of this period.  Attention should also be given to the cleaning of the air-conditioning system.

Once the initial deep cleaning has been performed, regular cleaning and disinfection of high contact areas must be implemented and performed hourly and before or after use.

Providing handwashing facilities and amenities is critical as is the provision of hand sanitisers throughout the facility, at entrances and at key high touch areas. Examples include:

  • Elevator buttons, railings and handles
  • Door handles and push plates
  • Balustrades and railings
  • Chairs, seats, tables
  •  Countertops, proximity railings, general use desks
  • Multimedia desks, rostrums
  • Multimedia equipment touch areas (wipe, do not use dripping wet cloths or spray chemicals directly)
  • Trollies, common use movable equipment
  • Common area toilets.

Special mention is made of public access toilets due to the common risks of these areas. Our recommendations for the steps to follow during COVID-19 Lockdown cleaning of these areas include:

Flush (stand back, turn head away, breath out to avoid aerosol)

  1. Clean with brush
  2. Apply chemical with sanitising properties and allow a 5 minute contact time
  3. Flush again
  4. Clean rim

* SEGREGATED (colour coded) cleaning equipment must be used for cleaning the contact and outside areas of the toilet. 

Physical / Social distancing measures

It is advised that access to your facility be limited and controlled in a manner that supports distancing. Measures such as :

  • Physical barriers and screens
  • 1.5m – 2m distancing markers
  • Discouraging groups of individuals
  • Staggered tea and lunch breaks
  • Scattered dining and distancing of tables
  • Leaving doors open minimises contact areas and encourages natural airflow
  • Restricting access to elevators

Screening for symptoms

Although not a foolproof measure, screening for possible symptoms does go some way to preventing infected individuals from entering your facility.  Regular check-ups on staff and visitors will at least ensure compliance with the regulations and the steps to follow during COVID-19 Lockdown.

Isolation facilities

Provisions must be made to isolate staff, guests, customers or visitors that show symptoms from other individuals within the facility. Further evaluation of the person should take place, and measures taken to either deny access or submit the individual for testing by a health professional.

COVID-19 Risk Manager

A risk manager must be assigned in order to manage the protocols in place. The individual must be known to all staff. A responsible person should also be available per shift to person the isolation duties.

*Management of these requirements should be done in a respectful manner that does not cause any unnecessary hysteria. 

Air Quality

The management of air quality is equally important in managing the risk of infection. Such requirements include:

  • Using a much natural airflow as possible
  • Weekly cleaning/disinfection of mechanical ventilation (air-conditioning). “If A/C must be used, disable re-circulation of internal air. Weekly clean/disinfect/replace key components and filters.” NIOH
  • Physical barriers and screens

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The regulations require that each staff member be provided with at least 2 cloth masks. A person entering the facility should wear at a minimum a cloth mask and/or face shield. Sufficient and easily accessed hand washing amenities or hand sanitiser and we would also recommended access to a surface cleaner/sanitiser to all individuals, which will assist in maintaining a hygienic environment. We have further advised for housekeeping staff that face shields/goggles be provided when cleaning rooms.

Administative duties

Futher duties include documenting your protocols and procedures. Keeping daily checklists of staff, visitors and a cleaning roster for high contact areas. Records for staff training should also be kept. These should be kept on file and readily accessible. Posters encouraging regular handwashing / sanitising, wearing of masks, cleaning and sanitizing of high contact areas and social distancing should also be placed throughout the facility to encourage compliance with these hygiene standards. These may also be accessed here.

Demonstrating Readiness

We are able to offer our COVID-19 risk assessment audit  that will help you demonstrate your compliance to the regulation and therefore your readiness to open and to keep infections at bay. The COVID-19 audit used in conjunction with our hygiene verification swabs and tests proves a valuable tool for you to provide government and your clientele with verification that you are complying with the requirements and are ready to once again accept customers. With our reports, we provide a certificate reflecting your level of readiness that can be used in your marketing materials and communications to your customers to provide peace of mind that you have their health and safety covered.

Further to this we strongly advise that you openly demonstrate all these measures, such as regular hand washing and sanitisng and frequent cleaning of high contact areas. That notices stand out in your facility to require compliance to these measures for guests, staff and visitors. The more that these measures are seen, the more confidence your customers will have in your ability to look after them.

Book your COVID-19 Risk Assessment Audit TODAY!

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ADRIAN CARTER

Hygiene Survey Manager