Creating a safer technology workspace

With the threat of COVID-19 being present in schools, we are implementing new procedures to reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread because of behaviors common in technology support. Both students and teachers frequent the support desk, and we usually provide service that includes our handling of the device presented. We recommend you consider the following changes in procedures too.

  • STAY HOME if you are feeling ill. There is little value in taking risks.
  • Avoid groups of students. Schools should already be reducing group activities, but be aware of and avoid unintended crowds.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between you and the next closest person.
  • Don’t touch or use another person’s device. If they need assistance, talk them through taking the actions that you otherwise would do yourself.
  • Wear nitrile gloves while working. These are “single use”, not to be worn all day. However, be aware that while wearing gloves, your gloves could contribute spreading droplets from one computer to another.
  • Use virus-mitigating wipes to clean surfaces before you touch them. Beware, though, of any special safety precautions these chemicals require, keep the Product Safety Sheet nearby (in case needed by medical personnel), and know how long the disinfectant must stay wet on the surface before it is considered to have worked.
  • Wash your hands at least once an hour. Follow health guidelines for duration and contact points. We recommend at least 20 seconds of scrubbing, palms, fingers, cuticles, and backs of hands thoroughly.
  • Don’t touch your face. Without knowing, we each touch our faces as much as 20 times an hour. Changing this subconscious behavior will take work.
  • Disinfect all surfaces in your workspace twice a day (or more). Use disinfecting cleaners designed for similar virus strains. Use gloves and follow safety and handling instructions closely, these things are much stronger than household cleaners. Clean chairs, handles, light switches, desks, tables, keys, keyboards and mice.
  • Disinfect your phone. Be aware of how frequently you touch it, and where you set it down. The frequency with which we handle our phones makes them facile carriers of microbes willing to ride along.
  • Keep boxes of tissues throughout your workspace. Use them every time you have to touch your face, cough, sneeze, or open a door. Discard after each use
  • Keep a lined trash can on both sides of doors. Ensure that they get removed daily.
  • Sleeve” door handles with tissues every time you open or close them. If you are in a place with no tissues, and you have no other alternative, open the door using the sleeve of your shirt if possible. Don’t grab an exposed door handle, but if you do, immediately wash your hands.
  • Don’t shake hands or hug. It’s difficult to dispense with these behaviors in some situations, but doing so is necessary now.
  • Use your cup and refill from the tap. Avoid shared water dispensers that require your cup to make contact with a surface that other cups touch. Wash your cup in hot water several times a day.
  • At home, have enough food for a couple of weeks or more, in case you have to self-quarantine. Include pet food, medicine, over the counter flu/cold medicines, and even water, just in case.
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