Dealing with Cold & Flu Season During a Pandemic – What can be done to Prepare?

City Wide Facility Solutions
Published on November 20, 2020

How can Facilities be Impacted by COVID-19 and the Flu at the Same Time?

With North American Cold and Flu Season making its return again this fall/winter and being compounded with COVID-19, facilities that haven’t or cannot close their doors for quarantine will have to take as severe precautions as possible to not risk an outbreak of both viruses. Hospitals, in particular, will be significantly affected by the addition of flu patients. In an effort to reduce the risk of infection of either virus, many facilities that have remained open or re-opened during the pandemic are re-evaluating their current sanitation solutions. It’s not in anyone’s best interest to avoid taking precautions to prevent an outbreak of either virus.

COVID-19 and the Flu will Conjoin, not Collide

Standard disinfection and sanitation may not be enough to combat both viruses. The CDC has concluded that, yes, you can be infected with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. According to the CDC, the co-contraction of both viruses is especially devastating to older adults, people with underlying conditions, and people who are pregnant. With the flu now compounding with COVID-19, children are at a much higher risk of showing severe symptoms.

Research has shown a noticeable decline in flu vaccinations. Since most people were ordered to stay at home, people were more averse to places such as schools and hospitals. Thanks to this, flu vaccine administration was lowered. With less overall vaccination, the transmission of the flu virus is more likely.

Can we Tell the Difference Between a Flu and COVID-19 Outbreak?

While an outbreak of COVID-19 versus flu is nearly impossible to distinguish without testing, here are a few ways they differ:

  • Symptoms
    • While the flu and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms, one symptom that differentiates COVID-19 is the loss of taste and smell. Additionally, symptoms of the flu generally appear much quicker than those with COVID-19.
  • Spread
    • The flu and COVID-19 spread in near-identical ways; however, COVID-19 is more prone to “super-spreading,” which means it can spread more easily to more people when in large gatherings or groups

Even with these differences, there is no guaranteed way to tell the difference between outbreaks without testing. Should anyone in your facility show symptoms of either virus, swift action must be taken. Quarantine efforts should be taken immediately, as the flu is a devastating and highly contagious virus as well.

What can I do to Combat both the Flu and COVID-19 in my Business?

If having employees work from home is not an option, then a more drastic approach to sanitation will be in order. Simply enforcing social distancing guidelines and providing hand sanitizer may not be enough. With staff having an increased risk of being sick, high-touch surfaces and items will be more likely to harbor flu and COVID-19 pathogens. Having the right disinfecting solution for your building is absolutely vital for minimizing risk for you and your staff. You can read more about the COVID-19 disinfection solutions City Wide offers here.

On top of finding the right disinfecting services, you should consider Electrostatic Disinfection. Why? Not only is Electrostatic Disinfection able to eradicate pathogens such as salmonella, E.coli, MRSA, norovirus, but is also highly effective at combatting COVID-19 and the flu. Electrostatic Disinfection may be the most effective preventative measure you can take for your facility this flu season.

If you are Interested in the Disinfection Services we Manage, Click Here!