The Covid Protection Framework has been designed to help you to keep running your business safely while COVID is in the community. Vaccination has made it possible for New Zealand to return to a more ‘normal’ day-to-day existence, but measures are still required to control and minimise the spread of the disease.

The rules vary by Traffic Light Alert level and your business activities but the underlining focus is the same. Track your staff and customers; use the Vaccine Pass where applicable; and prevent the spread with use of social distancing, masks and good hygiene.

For you as a business, there are a range of measures that you can implement to protect your people and therefore your business from COVID. If you haven’t already made changes to the way that you do business; there’s no time like the present. Here are some smart ways you can stop the spread.

It’s never too late to get vaccinated

Most businesses have spent months encouraging their employees to get vaccinated. If your people have not yet made the move towards vaccination, now’s a great time to remind them it’s never too late.

Vaccination is the best way we have to protect ourselves from COVID and reduce the spread of the disease. Your customers will take comfort in knowing that your employees are protected and therefore their own businesses are safer. Vaccinated employees also protect your business from the risk of long term sickness and increased infection levels.

If you’re struggling to get vaccination across the line, there are some great resources available to answer common questions and share the right information on the effectiveness of vaccination for the whole community. We recommend reliable sources of information like the Immunisation Advisory Centre or sharing this COVID Vaccination Booklet PDF with your people that’s got some great Q+As and has been created by Hauora Tairāwhiti.

Protect your business from COVID with good hygiene

Good hygiene makes a huge difference in controlling the spread of infectious diseases – whether they be COVID, Influenza or the common cold. Ensuring that your employees always practice good hygiene is an important step in preventing the spread of COVID within your workforce.

With COVID the main hygiene measures recommended begin with frequent and thorough hand washing. You can also add sanitising stations across your business to help your employees to keep their hands clean. This is a particularly good idea in shared areas like toilets, kitchens or entranceways. If you’re unsure whether your staff are washing and sanitising correctly there are plenty of free resources to help you get the message across on the COVID website.

Good hygiene also means maintaining a clean and well-ventilated workplace so you may want to increase your cleaning frequency. It’s important to prepare for infection by setting up a deep clean plan for when any staff members or visitors become sick. You can also actively involve your employees in keeping their workspaces clean by providing the tools they need to disinfect and wipe down surfaces frequently.

Stay separate to avoid infection

Keeping people apart is a simple way to avoid infection. That doesn’t have to mean all your employees work separately. You can create bubbles of teams by areas that minimise the risk of infection were someone sick to come into the workplace.

Social distancing measures are an effective way to control the spread of infection. Prepare your business to implement work from home measures which may be required at different Traffic Light Settings. Take time to consider how you can reduce the risk of exposure to every person in your team. Mask wearing is always an effective tool and may need to be implemented at different levels of the COVID Protection Framework.

Sick employees should stay home

The first wave of COVID infections caused many employers to revisit their sick leave policy. When there is a risk that cold symptoms could result in the spread of COVID across your business, it quickly becomes clear that staff who are unwell should stay home.

If you haven’t already, consider how you can provide your employees with the tools they need to work from home if they experience symptoms but are well enough to work. This will allow them to continue working even if they need to get tested for COVID and have to wait for the results.

With the risk of COVID in your business, communication is key. Make sure all of your team understands exactly how they need to communicate with you for you to be aware if someone has been exposed to COVID; is getting a COVID test; or experiencing COVID symptoms. Your forward planning now for how you will handle each of these situations is essential to minimising the impact of a COVID outbreak in the community.

Keep track of everyone who enters your business at all times

You may or may not require double vaccination for external parties to enter your work premises. If you choose (or have) to use the My Vaccine Pass system, knowing that everyone who is on your premises is double vaccinated is a good way to reduce the risk of infection to your workforce and customers.

Once COVID is in the community, there’s a high chance that it will reach your business. Your ability to identify exposure will help you to react quickly and minimise the impact on your people and your productivity.

QR code scanning is incredibly important to help you identify everyone who enters your premises and when. The more detailed your QR code system – by building, by area, by vehicle – the easier you are going to find it to track and trace exposure if COVID enters your premises.

Plan now to prevent the spread of COVID in your business

Putting the right plans in place today will protect your business from the spread of COVID. WorkAble can provide your business with the support it needs to plan and implement effective measures. Our team of registered Nurses are available to help you manage Infection Control, implement Rapid Antigen Testing, or help you to protect and manage the health and wellbeing of your team. Contact us today to explore more ways we can support your business.