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COVID-19 overview

COVID-19 has had a huge impact worldwide both economically and socially and it has caused a lot of illness and death. We discuss COVID in the workplac
© International Culinary Studio

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A coronavirus identified in 2019, SARS-CoV-2, has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19.

How is it transmitted?

The COVID-19 is very contagious. It is mainly transmitted through ‘aerosol’ spray when someone sneezes, coughs and speaks. These droplets hang in the air and are then transmitted to the next person as the person enters the area. These droplets can also land on surfaces and another person can get them on their hands when touching them and then become infected, however, recent research shows this is not the primary method of transmission.

What are symptoms of coronavirus?

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • New fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose

Some people that get infected with the COVID-19 get very sick and can even die, others have mild symptoms and some are asymptomatic (no symptoms or a carrier). COVID-19 can be very dangerous and lead to long term respiratory problems, respiratory failure and affect yor internal organs such as heart and kidneys and even lead to death.

Workplaces and COVID-19

Workplaces have now put measures in place to prevent staff contracting COVID-19 from others, including customers:

  • If you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to work, call your supervisor, manager, or head chef and let them know.
  • Your country will have a COVID-19 hotline. Call the hotline and arrange to have a test.
  • If you do not have COVID-19, you can return to work as you probably have flu. However, if your test is positive you need to isolate yourself from others for at least 10 days from the onset of the symptoms, or until the doctor says that you are fit for duty.
  • Wash and sanitise your hands and work areas regularly.
  • Most workplaces have implemented COVID-19 protocols which can include reducing the number of staff working in an area, screening, and issuing personal protective equipment (for example masks and screens).

What happens if you have COVID-19 symptoms?

If you have a fever and any of the above symptoms you should not come to work but call and advise your manager. Call your doctor or a health care provider and explain your symptoms over the phone before going to the doctor’s office, emergency care facility or emergency room.

How can you protect yourself and others?

You can do this by:

  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth when in public (this includes the workplace).
  • Social distance – keep a distance of at least 1,5 meters between yourself and another person.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and sanitize your hands and surfaces whenever possible.

Can the virus be transmitted through food?

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through contact with food or food packaging. COVID-19 is generally thought to be spread from person to person. However, it’s always important to practice good hygiene when handling food to prevent any food-borne illnesses.

© International Culinary Studio
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Food Safety and Personal Hygiene in a Professional Kitchen

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