Open workplace windows, CDC advises

Opening windows can help businesses stay open, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The CDC’s latest guidelines suggest that good ventilation is vital in office buildings and other workplaces as the coronavirus pandemic trails on.

Business owners and managers should make sure all heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are working well after the shutdown. Pests, mold and stagnant water may have invaded during the shutdown and will need to be thoroughly cleaned out.

The CDC recommends: “Increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, and other methods. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk for current or subsequent occupants, including children (e.g., allowing outdoor environmental contaminants including carbon monoxide, molds, or pollens into the building).”

Other steps include boosting the percentage of outdoor air coming in through HVAC systems to “potentially as high as 100%”; and pushing more air through the occupied spaces.

Business operators should scrutinize all areas of the structure, identifying where people tend to congregate; they should rearrange furniture and workstations and establish movement paths so at least six feet of social distancing can be maintained.

“Include all employees in the workplace in communication plans — for example management, staff, utility employees, relief employees, janitorial staff, maintenance staff, and supervisory staff,” the CDC emphasizes.

Previous instructions for cleaning and otherwise preparing building for reopening should also be followed.

Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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