As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, employers must prepare the workforce for a second wave of COVID-19. It is likely that a second wave of COVID-19 will impact Canada, currently Canada is seeing a lower infection rate overall, this indicates nearing the end of the first wave of COVID-19.
What is a second wave?
A second wave of an infectious disease is when the number of infections rise after having been lowered. Non-compliance with social distancing, mask wearing and sanitization contribute to a second wave. Determining a second wave is not an exact science and could possibly be larger than the first wave. In looking back at the last 8 influenza pandemics since the1700s, all were categorized as having a first, second and sometimes even third wave.
Preparing your workforce for the second wave
As restrictions become more lifted, it is still important to maintain physical distancing, practice frequent handwashing and hand sanitization, as well as wear masks where required. Employers should communicate to their workforce the importance of safety measures taken in the workplace and have procedures in place. Employers should have policies in place that address company safety requirements and the procedures necessary to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. To remain cautious of a second wave, employers should consider the following:
- Post signage throughout the workplace to remind employees of safety protocols
- Ensure workspaces are arranged that allow physical distancing to be maintained between employees
- Sanitize frequently touched surfaces and objects often and after use
- Have employees work from home where possible
- Screen employees and visitors where applicable