It’s been almost three years since the first case of Covid-19 was detected in China and the world of infection prevention is still in flux. Instead of disappearing from our lives, the Virus Formerly Known as Corona has become an almost-normal part of our everyday existence. Most facilities have stopped taking temperatures and testing. Moreover, social distancing and masking are rare in many places. Kids have gone back to school and workers back to the office. Just about everyone is back at the gyms, movie theaters, restaurants, and supermarkets. I have actually ventured to the beauty salon and gotten my hair done—more than once! Except for spotting the occasional mask-wearer (who might be me!). You might not even realize things were different than they were in the Before Times.
But they are.
Waves of Covid infections—driven by new, sometimes much more contagious variants—continue to sweep through communities. Thus, disrupting business, school, and life in general. Despite several vaccine options and two boosters (so far…), people are still winding up in the hospital. Some, tragically, are still dying. In other words, if your job includes managing any kind of facility where people gather, or are in charge of keeping that facility safe and germ-free, your work preventing infection from spreading through that facility is far from over.
To be honest, it’s never going to be over. Not only are we still dealing with Covid, the next headline-topping infectious disease isn’t just around the corner. That infectious disease is already here (hello, Monkey Pox!). And while, like Monkey Pox, not all new diseases will spread as easily as Covid. But, they will spread. That’s what diseases do.
It’s a lot to keep up with—even for the Germ Girl. So, what’s my advice to make sure you and your facility are ready before the next big biological threat comes along? Two things:
- Stay aware and informed of any health threats to your community and your people.
- Periodically assess your facility’s health and safety protocols.
Okay, you may be saying, but what am I supposed to assess when I don’t even know what the next pandemic or problem is going to be?
Maybe the next big disease will be spread by coughing, maybe by touching, maybe by osmosis (but probably not). But that’s not your problem. It’s not your job to know precisely what problem you’re going to be dealing with next. Your job is to know that whatever new bug or variant makes its way into your community, your facility, your protocols and procedures, and your people are all in the best shape possible to meet that challenge head-on.
To know that, you need an assessment.
An assessment simply means gathering hard data based on evidence to give you a real picture of where you are. And, also what you need to do to improve. Remember, just because you think something is a certain way doesn’t make it so. That includes thinking your cleaning team is following all of your current protocols and procedures to the letter. After all, people are human. They make mistakes.
So my advice is to regularly assess:
- Your people’s performance and training.
- Your protocols, policies and procedures.
- The products you use.
- Your company culture. This also includes leadership when it comes to infection prevention.
Hard data from a measurable assessment will give you the knowledge you need to make improvements where you need to. Furthermore, it will also you to develop a plan to keep your facility germ-free right now, and ready to react to new threats in the future—at the lowest overall cost to your company.
So, how do you go about conducting an assessment that will reveal what you need to see and show you where you need to fix things? Whether you want a professional to do the job for you or want to know how to assess your readiness on your own, I can get you on track to a safe and germ-free future.
Remember, keeping your facility clean keeps people healthier and can even save lives. Which also helps your bottom line. In the age of Covid, that’s what I call a win-win.
For more infection prevention and simple solutions for surviving a germ-filled world, grab a copy of my book, GERMINATOR! Your Guide to a Cleaner World from The Germ Girl.
Is your facility prepared for the next great health crisis? Take my assessment to find out!