Getting ahead of the coronavirus

By now, you have probably been inundated with news stories about coronavirus. It is an emerging issue that APWA continues to follow closely. Since many of you are on the front lines and in many cases are first responders, it is important for you to have the tools to respond. The best sources regarding COVID-19 have been the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, the CDC recommends the following to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:  

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect heavily used surfaces and objects on a frequent basis.

In addition, APWA recommends that public works departments prepare for the issue in their area by planning ahead should the virus spread. Review your operations now and have a plan for continuity of your operations in case of extreme absenteeism. If the workforce is out due to illness, caring for family members who are ill, handling childcare issues if schools are closed, or fearful of coming to work and catching the virus, what things will be implemented to continue essential functions? This should be done now and not when employees stop coming to work.
As of now, all APWA activities will continue as usual; however, we will continue to monitor the situation and update our membership should this change.