As of today, January 30, 2020, the WHO has declared a public health emergency of international concern1 (PHEIC) related to the recently identified 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Currently, the WHO pandemic phase is Phase 2, Alert and this phase is currently unrelated to the nCoV (please see Bee-Clean’s Pandemic Risk Management Document for additional information regarding pandemic phases). As of today, the virus has been confirmed primarily in China, but also in 18 other global regions including Canada (chart below1).
As we assess and plan for 2019-nCoV, Bee-Clean continues with steps to ensure that our employees and our clients are safe, adequately informed and prepared for the current phase and those to follow. We have engaged our supply chain partners to confirm they are prepared with adequate inventories of sanitizing materials. 2019-nCoV is an enveloped virus (similar to H1N1). We are also formally engaging our internal National Pandemic Management Team who will assist with our response strategy to a pandemic should the WHO increase the current alert level to Phase 3: Pandemic.
How 2019-nCoV Spreads, how to protect yourself and clients2
As with previous outbreaks due to other coronavirus (Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)), human-to-human transmission occurred through droplets, contact and fomites (contaminated surfaces), suggesting that the transmission mode of the 2019-nCoV can be similar. The basic principles to reduce the general risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections include the following3:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
As outlined in our Pandemic Risk Management Document, our first planning step for a possible pandemic is to identify a Pandemic Coordinator. For nCoV 2019, that coordinator is Rob Scott.
We will continue to update our internal teams and external stakeholders as the situation evolves. Bee-Clean’s National Pandemic Management Team (NPMT) will meet bi-weekly or more frequently to assess the situation to address the health and safety of our team and the well-being of our client facilities. You may direct questions to Rob Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org) or John Appleton (email@example.com). All Bee-Clean Pandemic Information is housed here.
Pandemic Bulletins Prepared by Rob Scott / John Appleton