Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak With Compassion & Knowledge
by Abigail Owiesny, on March 16,2020
For almost 30 years, Meritech has lived by a core value of making the world a healthier and safer place by redefining human hygiene. This enduring mission guides us as we face the difficult challenge of responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11th.
While the Coronavirus outbreak is something to be taken seriously, it is not a time for mass hysteria or fear. We must meet this challenge by working together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and an unfailing effort to seek the truth, facts, and knowledge, opposed to conjecture, speculation and panic.
We are here to serve as a resource to help you stay safe and respond responsibly to the situation. There are very practical measures that can be taken to reduce community spread of Coronavirus, and we strive to be a voice of truth in this time, sifting through the misinformation to provide accurate, vetted information. The best way to keep yourself and others safe is with effective personal hygiene, taking precautions to avoid close contact with others that may be sick, and containment measures to slow the rate of community spread. Here are some tips for protecting yourself, your family and our community:
Ways to Protect Yourself During the Coronavirus Outbreak
It is important to remember that Coronavirus is highly contagious, and it is very likely that most Americans will be exposed to it sometime this year or next year. The vast majority of people will only experience mild symptoms for a short period, and will otherwise recover fine. However, the following are ways to protect yourself during the Coronavirus outbreak:
Wash your hands often and correctly:
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. It is important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Check out this step-by-step guide on how to wash your hands properly.
What if handwashing is not an option? If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Keep your hands and environment clean
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. And immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Take time daily to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, phones, keyboards, etc. Don’t forget faucet handles as these will be touched often. If surfaces have visible soil, clean them with soap and water prior to disinfection.
Avoid close contact with others, especially people who are sick
Try to put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting sick. Learn what to do if you become sick and stay home if you are sick, unless seeking medical care.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask, then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
If you are NOT sick you do not need to wear a facemask. Unless you are caring for someone who is sick, you do not need to wear a facemask if you are not feeling ill. Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Ways to Protect Others from the COVID-19 Outbreak
The following recommendations are designed to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities from the virus, and slow its spread to allow time for our health care system to respond. Here are some best practices to help protect others during this outbreak:
Do not gather in groups
At this time, it is recommended to postpone or cancel mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.
Stay home and isolated if you are ill
Stay home when sick and isolate yourself from other family members, as best as possible. Stay away from any individuals who are ill, especially if you are at higher risk for serious illness.
Do not visit medical facilities unless you are critically ill
If you are not ill, avoid visiting hospitals, long term care or assisted living facilities to the extent possible. If you do need to visit one of these facilities, limit your time there and keep 6 feet away from the patients and staff of the facility.
Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your primary physician first.
Overall, these recommendations are designed to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities from the virus, and to slow its spread to allow time for our health care system to respond.
Coronavirus Update: How Meritech is Responding to the COVID-19 Outbreak
The world is facing challenging times, but we want you to know that we stand ready to help however we can. We understand the critical role Meritech plays in ensuring human hygiene, and are continually humbled by the trust our customers place in us as we work together to make the world a healthier and safer place.
We have implemented a number of sensible policies in response to the current situation, including encouraging many employees to work from home and implementing additional sanitation precautions in our manufacturing facility. Preventing community spread is of the utmost importance, and our field service personnel are taking additional steps to confirm their health prior to any facility visits. This, however, hasn't slowed our operations. We are confident in the safety measures we are taking, and dedicate ourselves to maintaining the same level of quality and service we have always delivered.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus. Please know that we are vigilantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation around the clock and have precautions in place to ensure the health and safety of our employees and customers. Together, we can get through this. Let’s keep each other safe by responding responsibly.