COVID, crud, and getting cozy for winter

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A LinkedIn connection posted this article about the most likely way one would contract COVID, and it got me thinking… First, I know that article is long, but it is worth the read, I’ll be here when you get back.

Spoiler alert, you’re most likely to be exposed to COVID when indoors, and as many articles have suggested recently, in an indoor dining (or drinking) establishment. Take-out, curbside, and delivery are still the best options to minimize your exposure but still enjoy your favorite places!

If you run a business that serves the public, check out the guides from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) related to air handling. Here’s a start.

Most businesses have been using the outdoors to spread out for meetings and events, and restaurants have added outdoor seating in parking lots and other outdoor areas. As a person based in an area that gets hit pretty hard by winter, the days are already getting colder, forcing us to think of how we will adapt in a different way this season. It’s acceptable for a construction crew to have a tailgate meeting outside when it’s below freezing, but you’re not going to have an office staff meeting in your outdoor commons at that time of year! Start thinking now about how you’ll manage when the option of outdoor space is taken away by ice, snow, and bitter cold.

In Minnesota, MNOSHA mandates that portapotties have to be heated beginning November 1. (There’s a fun fact for my warm-climate based friends!) This date marks when construction sites and other outdoor work areas begin (or are already in the swing of) enclosing and heating those spaces. We must consider now how we will manage air quality in these enclosed areas in a few weeks. It’s always been a concern, and we’d laugh when a whole crew gets the same “crud” over the course of a few weeks. But COVID is not the usual crud, and we have to do better.

How is your workplace planning ahead for the closed up (cozy?) times ahead this winter?

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