What is nonpharmaceutical intervention?
While the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight, we cannot lower our guard. There is still the possibility that our hospital systems and medical supplies can be overwhelmed.
As the vaccine continues to be administered, we continue to remain alert. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through nonpharmaceutical intervention (NPI). This intimidating-looking term is surprisingly simple: nonpharmaceutical intervention refers to ways to stop the spread of sickness that are not related to vaccines or medication.
During most flu seasons, NPIs are used alongside vaccines and medication to create a robust defense against sickness. But in extraordinary situations like pandemics, NPIs offer the best ways to reduce the spread of sickness in your community.
The CDC has an extensive guide about NPIs that you can read here. Below, we list some crucial NPI methods that you can use in your office and workspace, helping you and those around you stay healthy.
- Wash your hands frequently. This is a classic NPI, yet it remains highly effective. Any germs that end up on your hands have a high chance of ending up in your body, especially if you do not wash your hands. Proper handwashing can drastically cut down the germs, and cut down the chance of you getting sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. This prevents germs from getting into the air and lingering there.
- Clean surfaces and objects frequently. Germs and bacteria can live on surfaces for a long time; some flu strains can survive for up to 48 hours on a surface if conditions are right. This makes that surface contagious to anyone who touches it. Make sure surfaces, especially those handled by multiple people, are cleaned frequently to cut down on any leftover germs and bacteria.
- Wear a face mask. Airborne sickness can get into your body if you breathe them in. Face masks provide a filter to stop those germs from entering your body. Even reducing the number of germs that get into your lungs can have a huge impact on your health.
- Get items that have been proven to help reduce bacteria and germs. At Janitronics, we use AIRBOX air purifiers and NanoSeptic self-cleaning surfaces to keep our office clean throughout the day. You can see what we use, and get some for yourself, at our store here.
- Know where the cleaning supplies are. Not knowing what supplies you have and where they’re stored can cause big problems. Go over these locations with your staff and make sure that they know how each product works. Mixing the wrong products together can be just as dangerous as not cleaning at all.
- Social distance when sickness in the community is high. If there are rising cases of sickness in your area, socially distancing while you are out and about can help protect you from catching the sickness as well.
- Have plans to work from home if the need arises. In extreme circumstances, it is better for everyone to work from home. Make sure that you have plans already in place so that if it becomes necessary, it’s a smooth transition.
- Stay informed. The level of sickness can vary by community, and one may be okay for daily life to continue on while another requires a strict lockdown.
- If you’re sick, stay home. Not only will you not spread the sickness to others, but staying home and resting will let you recover faster as well.
Beyond what the CDC recommends, there are many developing scientific studies about other potential NPIs that can help ward of sickness. While nothing conclusive can be reached at this time, there seems to be a high correlation to having a balanced diet and staying active, and a strong immune response.
Janitronics has both the equipment and the methods to boost the power of your NPIs. From our cleaning methods, to offering both NanoSeptic and AIRBOX products, we have a robust system to deal with the unseen.