Most cases of this new virus are mild, but typical symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. This may be more serious for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions and the elderly.
- If staff are returning from Category 1 countries - Hubei Province in China, Daegu or Choengo in Republic of Korea, Iran or designated Italian towns under containment measures - they should self-isolate for 14 days, whether showing symptoms or not.
- If returning from Category 2 countries – Cambodia, China (other than Hubei Province), Hong Kong, Northern Italy, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea (other than Daegu or Choengo), Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam – specific actions don’t have to be taken, but if symptoms develop staff should self-isolate immediately and call 111.
HAND WASHING IS BEST DEFENCE
This should be standard practice anyway, but consider retraining all staff - irrelevant of their role - in good personal
- Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with antibacterial soap and warm water and dry thoroughly on disposable towels, or sanitise them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Staff should be advised to wash their hands after returning from public places, particularly where they have used public transport.
- Ensure work surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly and thoroughly.
- Cover nose and mouth with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing and have the tissue paper discarded into lidded bins afterwards – and wash hands again.
- Ensure waste is removed on a regular basis.
If you suspect coronavirus, ring 111 and request advice on how to treat or manage the patient:
- Do not send a guest or staff member direct to A&E or their GP surgery.
- They should be voluntarily isolated and prompt medical treatment should be arranged. Self-isolation is currently the only recommended means to stop it spreading.
- Appropriate infection control measures should be implemented as soon as possible, such as enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures.
It pays to be organised and prepared so:
- Review your business continuity or disaster recovery plan and identify whether pandemic controls are adequate or in need of amendment/addition. Ensure this includes action to take should staff or guests suffer from symptoms of coronavirus - and who should be contacted.
- If any staff members need to self-isolate, have you got access to relief or agency staff.
- If a food supplier has to close their business temporarily because of coronavirus, have you got alternatives lined up and ready.