California closed down non-essential activities and has reaped the benefits of that decision with far fewer deaths and hospitalizations than projected. Even though we’ve passed the state’s “peak,” new cases are still coming and care needs to be taken to ensure that a second wave of the virus doesn’t occur.
It is estimated that more than half of all Californians will contract the coronavirus. Some may be asymptomatic, which means they won’t know they have it and yet can easily infect others. Most will have mild to moderate symptoms, which have now expanded beyond fever and cough to include chills, muscle pain, sore throat and headache. A small percentage, particularly people over 60 and those with underlying diseases, are more likely to have severe or fatal symptoms.
If you’ve lost your job due to temporary or permanent closure, or if you think you’re sick, see the chart below.
If you’re considered an “essential” worker, here are some steps to take to protect yourself and your loved ones.
For all workers:
• Don’t go to work if you are feeling sick.
• Avoid contact with sick people.
• Avoid large gatherings or meetings.
• Try to stay six feet away from others on job sites and in work-related gatherings.
Do not carpool.
Do not share food.
Always clean shared tools/equipment—before and after use.
• Always wear a mask and gloves when you may possibly be in close contact with others.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
If you cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with tissues and clean your hands after.
Don’t shake hands when greeting others.
• Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol at minimum).
Employers should also:
• Create at least 6 feet of space between workers by staging and staggering crews.
• Plan for office staff to have the ability to work from home.
• Provide soap and running water on all jobsites for frequent hand-washing. If that is impossible, provide hand sanitizer.
• Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces on job sites and in offices—such as hand rails, door knobs, and portable toilets—frequently, per CDC guidelines: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html