Maybe you’ve already heard it… “The flu is really bad this season.” or “There’s going to be a flu epidemic this year.” The fact is that no one ever wants to be sick and no matter the season, being ill is always bad. Also, there is a flu epidemic in the United States every year but only time will tell just how severe it is.
Some people are more at risk to get the flu than others but it is a contagious virus that is spread from person to person. This is why it is so important for schools, retirement communities, doctor offices, hospitals and other facilities that primarily serve children, elderly, or those with susceptible or weakened immune systems to take action and protect their buildings from germs. All public spaces, however, are at risk. Consider that when people are ill they cannot avoid, for example, going to the grocery store. There are many other public spaces where people can be exposed to illness.
Is your facility taking preventative action?
Stay informed about what the local public health department recommends this flu season and take that advice to heart. It is part of a facilities manager’s job to ensure you are well stocked with cleaning supplies and that all surfaces are cleaned the right way. Sanitize, disinfect, and do it regularly. Extra cleaning measures are encouraged during flu season so you may want to consider cleaning well used spaces even more frequently.
What can facility managers do?
It is extremely important for facilities that are more at risk to take preventative measures seriously. While getting a flu shot is the best way to protect one’s health during the yearly flu season, you cannot make everyone get vaccinated and many people don’t. Therefore, facilities should always have a plan and be prepared. Does your facility have an emergency plan for a flu outbreak? Stay informed about the flu in your area and know that education and communication are critical.
A flu outbreak at your facility can not only make people feel lousy and miss school or work, it could potentially shut down a facility entirely. In an extreme case, facilities may have to shut down do to too much illness among employees. Take the right measures to prevent this and keep staff and the facility healthy this flu season.