This Tuesday afternoon, the risk level of coronavirus spreading via community transmission was raised to “very high” by public health authorities in Sweden. A number of people have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 despite not traveling nor coming into contact with any known patients. Maintaining the safety of our community is important for us and for the safety of others, so we may be implementing new recommendations in the coming days or weeks as the situation evolves.
For now, we are making the following recommendations:
- If you experience cold or flu-like symptoms, work from home until you no longer have any symptoms;
- If you have traveled to a high-risk country or have been in direct contact with a known patient, work from home for 14 days to be sure you have not contracted the virus;
- If someone is sick, do not invite them to the office. We can help you get set up with video conferencing in Collaboration if you need to work with them and can do so virtually;
- Remember to wash your hands regularly, especially after first arriving to the office and after touching common objects;
- Avoid touching your face or rubbing your eyes as this is how you can become sick if the virus is present on your hands;
- Disinfect meeting room surfaces before use;
- Invite your visitors to disinfect or wash their hands with soap upon entering; and
- Remember to practice good basic hygiene (eg. sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands after blowing your nose).
Call 1177 if you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, and one of the following applies to you: a) you have recently traveled to China, Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea, Italy, or Austria; and b) you have been in direct contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
While most of us are likely to experience only mild symptoms if we become ill, it’s important that we as a community, avoid spreading any disease to those who are more vulnerable and so the public healthcare system doesn’t become overwhelmed. Try not to panic and don’t be that person who buys all the toilet paper and soap at the supermarket. We need other people to be clean too!
It’s completely understandable if you feel anxious or stressed about the situation. We’re here to talk if you are worried about anything. Here you can read our tips on how to protect yourself at work. We’ve also published our best practices on our website if you’d like to find out more about what we’re doing. If you are sick at home and need assistance with something at the office, let us know and we will do what we can to help you.
Cathy Xiao Chen is the Head of Operations at Impact Hub Stockholm. With a passion for supporting social impact, she advises and connects changemakers with collaborators to maximize impact.