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How to create a COVID-19 preparedness plan

The Pandemic COVID-19 and Influenza course describes the public health measures that must be taken to help countries prepare for and respond to COVID-19. The information from this course can be used to rapidly adapt pandemic influenza preparedness plans to COVID-19, taking what we have learned so far about the virus and translating that knowledge into strategic action to guide action.

The new occupational risks that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is posing in the workplace have been a complicated subject to manage. Now more than ever, it is important that all organizations carry out a plan to deal with these types of infectious diseases.

What is an influenza pandemic?

Influenza (flu) pandemic (or global epidemic) occurs when a new subtype of the influenza virus appears, against which no one is immune. This can lead to several simultaneous epidemics around the world, with high numbers of cases and deaths.

With the global expansion of transportation and urbanization, epidemics caused by a new influenza virus can occur rapidly throughout the world.

How could a new influenza virus cause a pandemic?

Annual influenza outbreaks and epidemics are caused by influenza viruses type A and B. They are the result of minor changes in the viruses, allowing them to evade the immunity developed both in previous viral infections and in response to vaccinations.
Only influenza A virus can cause pandemics. When a significant variation occurs in one or both of the surface proteins of this virus, no one is immune, as it is a completely new virus. A pandemic can occur when the virus also has the ability to spread from person to person.

Global pandemics have been recorded for hundreds of years. The best documented occurred in 1918 (H1N1, Spanish flu), 1957 (H2N2, Asian flu), and in 1968 (H3N2, Hong Kong flu).

Why create a COVID-19 prevention plan?

The goal of pandemic planning is to enable countries to be prepared to recognize and control an influenza pandemic. Planning can help reduce transmission of the pandemic virus train, reduce cases, hospitalizations and deaths. In addition, detailed plans for an influenza pandemic preparedness program can be easily applied to larger contingency projects covering other disasters caused by the emergence of new, highly contagious, and serious communicable diseases.

Before starting the planning phase, the organization has to make sure that all employees are prepared for these kinds of hazards. Due to the nature of the outbreak, people without the necessary knowledge should be trained as soon as possible.

Questions that need to be addressed

Is there an established response plan, specifying responsibilities and tasks of organizations and individuals, in the different phases of a pandemic?

Develop a response plan for each pandemic phase. The response plan should state the specific response in each phase of a pandemic and take into account the details of the preparedness plan.

For example, if a country has chosen to consider only the essential aspects of pandemic planning, the response plan would address only these aspects of preparedness.

The response plan should include a mechanism to determine the triggers that will change the level of the response. The response plan should indicate the organization, and if applicable possible, the unit responsible for the designated response for each phase, within the organization.

Training course OSHA Outreach Courses Pandemic COVID-19 and Influenza

Once the organization has trained all its staff, it is time for the plan to be carried out. Your plan should consider the actions that are necessary to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases.

Here’s what’s included in your OSHA Outreach Courses Pandemic COVID-19 and Influenza training course:

  • What plans to consider and how to address the level of risk associated with various workplaces.
  • How to identify and recognize the sources of SARS-CoV-2 that can compromise the safety of workers.
  • How to prevent the spread of infectious diseases from the general public, clients and co-workers; and individuals or those at particularly high risk of infection.
  • Workers’ individual risk factors (e.g. older age, presence of chronic medical conditions, including conditions that compromise the immune system; pregnancy).

Pandemic Phase Response Plan

To facilitate a rapid and appropriate response to the crisis, all stakeholders need to know what to do and in what order. While WHO will recommend to countries the activities to be carried out in each phase of a pandemic, countries will adopt the general recommendations to their own organization and infrastructure. Therefore, response plans should be developed for each of the phases, encompassing all aspects of preparedness.

Follow federal and state, local, tribal and/or territorial recommendations regarding the development of contingency plans for situations that could arise as a result of outbreaks, for example:

  • Higher rates of absenteeism among workers.
  • Need for social distancing, staggered work shifts, reduction in operations, remote service provision, and other measures to reduce exposure.
  • Options for conducting essential operations with a smaller workforce, including training in multiple areas of different jobs to continue operations or provide increased services.
  • Interruption in supply chains or delay in deliveries.

The occupational risks that a disease of this type poses are not the only ones that an organization must face during its operations. Being prepared for all kinds of threats is what thousands of organizations that are committed to the safety and health of their employees and other interested parties need today.

Why Choose OSHA Outreach Courses?
OSHA Outreach Courses currently offer an extensive list of 400+ online safety training courses and resources. The courses and training camp lasts from half a day to several weeks, depending on the type of training, certification, and level.

Individuals can earn wallet DOL cards after completing our online OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour courses. Here are some of the other benefits of signing up with OSHA Outreach Courses:

  • Get 24/7 help from a dedicated support team
  • 24×7 easy accessibility to online training
  • Access in-depth course completion reporting
  • OSHA certificate and OSHA DOL card (for OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Hour Outreach graduates)
  • Interactive multimedia courses
  • Affordable, customized Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Instant grading and online certificates
  • Corporate billing and group discounts

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