COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

On March 10, 2020, the Croatian Institute for Public Health issued Interim Guidance for Business and Employers, with the aim to respond to Coronavirus disease.

Perform routine environmental cleaning:
– Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
– No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
– Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

It is recommended that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
– Put used tissues in the bin straight away.
– Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available. See handwashing guidance.
– Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
– Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Separate sick employees:
– It is recommended that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).

Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
– Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other work areas where they are likely to be seen.
– Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
– Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
– Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.

Meetings:
– Use phones, video conferencing and the Internet to do business as much as possible as a replacement for meetings.
– When meetings are necessary and urgent, organize them in as large a room as possible and leave sufficient space (at least 1-2 m) between individuals.
– Avoid handshaking and encourage keeping the distance of at least 1 m when talking to others.
– Ventilate all rooms regularly, at least twice a day.
– Ventilate all meeting rooms and other venues hosting a large number of people before and after each meeting, during breaks, etc.