Tenant's Guide to Building Re-Entry
What you need to know
A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease, for which people do not have immunity, and that has spread globally at an alarming speed and at alarming levels, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The pandemic disease can cause serious illness because people do not have immunity to the new virus or influenza.
On March 11, 2020, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was also declared a pandemic. Coronavirus disease is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (COVID-19). The disease was first identified in 2019 in Central China and has since spread globally resulting in the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic. Because it was a new disease, the best way to prevent getting the illness was to avoid being exposed to the virus and practicing good hygiene.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with people who were exposed and practice social distancing.
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when out in public.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
An influenza (flu) pandemic is an outbreak of flu disease that occurs when a new type of influenza virus appears that people have not been exposed to before or in a long time. Seasonal influenza is caused by the influenza virus types to which people have already been exposed. Its impact on society is less severe than a pandemic and influenza vaccines (flu shot and nasal-spray vaccine) are available to help prevent widespread illness. Both the COVID-19 and influenza flu can infect people of all ages; however, found to be more deadly among the elderly or people with existing medical or compromised health conditions.
COVID-19 and the influenza (flu) pandemics are different from many of the other major public health and health care threats facing our country and the world. A pandemic will last much longer than most flu outbreaks and may include “waves” of the virus activity that last for weeks and months. The number of health care workers and first responders able to work may be reduced. Public health officials will not know how severe a pandemic will be until it begins.
Importance and Benefits of Being Prepared
- The effects of a pandemic can be lessened if you prepare ahead of time. Preparing for a disaster will help bring peace of mind and confidence to deal with a pandemic.
- When a pandemic starts, everyone around the world could be at risk. The United States has been working closely with other countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen systems to detect outbreaks of viruses/influenza that might cause a pandemic.
- A pandemic would touch every aspect of society, so every part of society must begin to prepare. All have roles in the event of a pandemic. Federal, state, tribal, and local governments are developing, improving, and testing their plans for an influenza pandemic. Businesses, schools, universities, and other faith-based and community organizations are also preparing plans.
- As you begin your individual or family planning, you may want to review your state's planning efforts and those of your local public health and emergency preparedness officials. State plans and other planning information can be found at: http://www.flu.gov/professional/checklists.html or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies are providing funding, advice, and other support to your state. The federal government will provide up-to-date information and guidance to the public if a pandemic unfolds.
There are many publicly available resources in place to help communities, companies, and individuals plan for a possible pandemic flu and virus outbreak. A few of the most useful sites are linked below:
Pandemicflu.gov -This is the official U.S. Government site for information on pandemic and avian influenza. The material on this site is organized by topic for easy reference.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -- The CDC Web site is another primary source of information on pandemic influenza. They also have a hotline—1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)—that is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (TTY: 1-888-232-6348). Or, if you prefer, questions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - DHS is working on a “Business Planning Guide,” which will be posted on the DHS home page and on Pandemicflu.gov as soon as it is completed. Also, for business-specific questions, the DHS has created an e-mailbox - DHSPandemic@dhs.gov.
BOMA Resources - BOMA/Greater Toronto Pandemic Flu Report - The report addresses the threat to commercial buildings from an avian flu pandemic.
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CORONAVIRUS DISEASE-2019 (COVID-19)
COVID-19-OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
The resources above will provide a lot of information, but we also encourage you to:
Listen to local and national radio
Watch news reports on television
Read your newspaper and other sources of printed and Web-based information
Look for information on your local and state government Web sites
Consider talking to your local health care providers and public health officials