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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – TOOLBOX Talk

Symptoms to Look for and How to Stop the Spread

COVID-19 Pandemic Symptoms to look for:


You are encouraged to seek medical advice if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. 


Most common signs and symptoms to look for:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Call your doctor if you develop these symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person know to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19. 












How to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Together we can help slow the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19 by practicing the following:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    • Practice social distancing – staying at least 6 feet away from others

    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash

    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

    • Stay home when you are sick, except to seek medical care

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

    • The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another

    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

    • If you feel sick, stay home

    • Acquire necessary types of PPE and cleaning supplies; masks, respiratory masks, face shields, disposable gloves

    • Avoid hugging, kissing and shaking hands when greeting

    • Practice good health habits (sleeping, eating, keeping physically active)

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Protecting Yourself During a Pandemic COVID-19

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak and can be caused by a variety of agents, including influenza and coronaviruses. During a pandemic, transmission can be anticipated in the workplace not only from patients to workers in healthcare settings, but also among co-workers and between members of the general public and workers in other types of workplaces.


Principles of employee protection:

  • Consistently practice social awareness, and avoid close physical contact (e.g. shaking hands). 

  • Cover your mouth when you cough and your mouth and nose when you sneeze, doing such into your arm rather than your hands.

  • Maintain personal hygiene; washing hands often, using hand sanitizer, paying attention to cleaning under your fingernails.

  • Keep your hands out of your mouth and off of your face.

  • Clean work spaces and other surfaces frequently.

  • Do not share food or beverages; do not use the same straws and utensils someone else has already used.

  • Proper PPE should be worn when necessary; surgical mask, gloves, goggles, etc.

  • Surgical masks can be used to protect oneself against splashes and sprays containing infectious agents. 

  • Sick individuals can use surgical masks to prevent respiratory infections that spread by large droplets; however, may not protect against some airborne-transmissible infectious agents due to loose fit and lack of seal. 

  • Surgical masks are not to be used more than once and need to be disposed of properly.

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Workers who believe their employer provides a safe and healthy workplace are more likely to report to work during a pandemic. It is our priority to ensure our employees are safe and protected. 

  • We do not have the option to work from home as our work is done on multiple job sites, so keep in mind situational awareness, be aware of others and avoid close physical contact as much as possible.

  • According to the Federal, State, and local government, low income residential (multi-family) construction is considered an “essential business”

  • Wear gloves if they do not affect production.

  • We will provide disposable surgical masks, if necessary

  • Make sure to wash your hands often, keep your hands out of your mouths and off of your face

  • Sneeze and cough into your arm or a handkerchief. 

  • Carry a towel, handkerchief, or tissues for your personal use.

  • Do not share drinks or food, do not drink from the same water bottle or cups. 

Importance of Handwashing and Hand Sanitizer Use

Germs are everywhere. They can get onto hands and items we touch during daily activities and make you sick. Cleaning hands at key times with soap and water or hand sanitizer is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to those around you. This is important for all illnesses, but especially important for controlling the spread of COVID-19.


There are important differences between washing hands with soap and water and cleaning them with hand sanitizer. For example, alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t kill ALL types of germs, such as a stomach bug called norovirus, some parasites, and Clostridium difficile, which causes severe diarrhea. Hand sanitizers also may not remove harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and heavy metals like lead. Handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs, pesticides, and metals on hands. Knowing when to clean your hands and which method to use will give you the best chance of preventing sickness. 


When should I use?

Soap and Water:

  • Before, during and after preparing food

  • Before eating food

  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick

  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

  • After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • After touching an animal, animal food or treats, animal cages, or animal waste

  • After touching garbage

  • If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy


Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer:

  • Before and after visiting a friend or a loved one in a hospital or nursing home, unless the person is sick with Clostridium difficile (If so, use soap and water to wash hands). 

  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.

  • Do NOT use hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy; for example, after gardening, playing outdoors, or after fishing or camping (unless a handwashing station is not available). Wash your hands with soap and water instead.

  • How should I use?

  • Soap and Water:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.

  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.

  • Scrub all surfaces of your hands, including the palms, backs, fingers, between your fingers, and under your nails. Keep scrubbing for 20 seconds.

  • Rinse your hands under clean, running water.

  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.


  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.

  • Apply – Put enough product on hands to cover all surfaces.

  • Rub hands together until hands feel dry. This should take about 20 seconds.

  • Do not rinse or wipe off the hand sanitizer before it’s dry; it may not work as well against germs.

For more information, please refer to the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or call (800)232-4636.
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