It is important that we all work together to properly communicate ways we all can stop the Coronavirus and return the economy and standard of living we have become accustomed to in recent years.
By John Paglia, III

By now, all of us have seen real effects of the Coronavirus, labeled COVID19. The booming economy we have seen over the last few years has had the brakes applied at a screeching halt. Whether you agree with the panic or not, the facts remain that we must all adjust our business model as fast as you can to adjust to the brakes put on the economy. Since the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a record high on February 19, 2020, in less than a months’ time we have seen that record high decrease 25 percent and counting (as of March 12, 2020). It is a clear indication of what can happen without the freedom to travel and trade goods and services. I do agree with actions taken to first and foremost protect the American people. It is very important that every person reading this first and foremost takes precautionary measures to protect yourself, your family, your fellow co-workers and strangers.

Preventing the Spread of COVID19
Following is a list of common ways to prevent obtaining or spreading of COVID19. While some items may seem like common sense, it is important that we all work together to properly communicate ways we all can stop this disease and return the economy and standard of living we have become accustomed to in recent years. I am in no way a doctor and am only passing along facts that have been produced on newsletters I have received from NWRA, EPA, OHSHA, DEP, CDC and the FDA. This is a compilation of some of the highlighted facts when dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace:
• All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19 in their workplace. They should identify and communicate their objectives, which may include one or more of the following: (a) reducing transmission among staff, (b) protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications, (c) maintaining possible work-related exposure and health risks to employees.
• All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.
• Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
• CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
• Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees. Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 to 95 percent alcohol or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
• Businesses should consider replacing in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and allowing employees to telework in order to reduce exposure to community settings. Should an employer decide to implement these types of policies there are technological, process, security and compliance considerations necessary to safely allow telework in the workplace.

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Be Prepared
These were a few of the highly publicized items. It is very important that we not only respect the threat of this virus, but also at the same time do not panic. We as Americans have overcome previous virus attacks (SARS/Swine Flu), wars, recessions and other economy altering events. Create a contingency plan on how to protect fellow coworkers and as a management team you should be preparing to operate under a worse case scenario. At the end of the day, if our profession was unable to operate, not only would we be dealing with this virus, we would also introduce other problems and illnesses that Americans are not accustomed to. We must stay safe, but we must also be prepared to responsibly serve our customers locally, nationwide, as an industry working together under the guidance of our nation’s public officials and agencies issuing guidelines and recommendations to make COVID-19 a story of the past. | WA

John Paglia III is a 4th generation garbage man. Before he climbed the ranks to become Florida Express Environmental’s General Manager, he had a successful career in college and professional athletics. John has been around the garbage industry since his car seat days. Currently, John is focused on growing his company and offering the highest level of customer service and prolonging the world we live in today. John wakes up every day knowing the impact professional haulers have on their community is far greater than most realize. He can be reached at (352) 629-4349, e-mail John3@floridaexpress.us or visit www.floridaexpress.us.

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