By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
AS the country enters Phase Four of the plan to restart the economy, the Ministry of Environment and Housing has issued a statement on guidelines for returning to work.
According to the statement, Minister of the Environment Romauld Ferreira issued the advisory for the general public, specifically teachers. The statement said guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health must be observed when returning to work such as wearing face masks, maintaining a minimum distance of six feet between persons, frequently washing hands and using hand sanitizer regularly. Persons in the high risk category are to remain home.
With more sectors of the economy reopening, concern has been expressed on how buildings, offices and classrooms are to be cleaned prior to people returning to work.
Here are special guidelines issued by the Department of Environmental Health Services on this subject: If the facility was closed for seven days or more, there is no need to implement a special COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting exercise as current evidence suggest that the SARS-COV-2 virus does not survive on surfaces longer than this period; normal, routine cleaning is required prior to reopening; custodial staff should be reengaged to carry out required cleaning and disinfecting in preparation for occupancy and frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, railings, telephone receivers, countertops, handles, desks, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks should be cleaned and disinfected often.
The Department of Environmental Health Services is providing special training for custodial staff, the statement said, adding custodial and maintenance staff should document any health and safety concerns.
The Ministry of the Environment and Housing and the Department of Environmental Health Services take the threat of COVID-19 seriously and urge the public to continue to be cautious. The statement added “it is necessary for essential workers to return to their jobs as a matter of urgency.”