As Louisiana prepares to enter phase one of reopening the economy on Friday, Our Lady of the Lake Physician Dr. Rani Whitfield discusses what you should keep in mind to keep you and your neighbors safe.
Question: Why is it important that employers follow guidelines as we move into phase one?
Dr. Whitfield: Our employers are very important on the front lines of this pandemic and they can help prevent or slow the spread of the virus within the workplace. As an employer, if your business operations were interrupted and you’re resuming normal activities, phase into those activities with your COVID-19 preparedness. We know some folks have to go back to work so those employers are important to slowing the spread to keep those cases from spiking or peaking.
Question: If I am an employee who is returning to work, what do I need to be doing to make sure that I’m keeping myself safe and my co-workers safe?
Dr. Whitfield: That conversation between the employer and the employees is very important. Employers will probably be conducting health checks, so the employees need to know what to expect. Of course, while protecting their private privacy when those questions are asked about whether they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or not. Have protection in the office. Have no hands trash cans. Clean your work surfaces and your work area before and after work and of course regularly cleaning of the offices on a daily basis. All of those things are important to protect you as well as your employees. I always say masks are like underpants, you need to change them everyday.
Question: Are we ready to enter phase one tomorrow?
Dr. Whitfield: There’s still a lot about the virus that we don’t know. We’re seeing states where individuals are having strokes, blood clots, etc. The only thing I can tell you is the virus is still continuing to spread and we don’t know a lot about it. We still don’t have a vaccine, we still don’t have a drug to stop it and so if we’re not going to be able to social distance and continue those behaviors like washing your hands, then I’m fearful that we can have a spike in the virus and more people will get infected and some will die. So the numbers are still increasing and there’s still concern from all in the medical community, but I know at some point we have to get back to work but we still have our concerns. Everyone please adhere to the guidelines.