With businesses across the nation reopening, there is still concern about the spread of infectious diseases.
Baptiste Beauvais has a master’s degree in Public Health and Community Health Sciences from Tulane University and is the Paramedic and EMS Director in Wall. As things start to reopen, he said he has not seen much information for businesses on how to interact with the public, while observing infection control procedures.
“This isn’t something that we’ve experienced before, so the guidance out there for the public isn’t quite there yet,” said Beauvais. “We’re kind of making it up as we go along.”
It is not for lack of effort on the part of businesses. Beauvais said he has a friend, who went to a fast food restaurant, where she placed her card into a bowl, then the gloved employee ran the card, and gave it back, without changing gloves.
“You’re touching hundreds of surfaces without really thinking about it,” said Beauvais. “And, you know, especially in COVID-19, we’re taught to wash our hands for 20 seconds at a minimum with soap and water, but we’re not really hearing guidance out there that says to disinfect surfaces.”
When the pandemic is over, Beauvais thinks our handle on infectious disease and control will be completely revamped, but certain procedures for first responders, like personal protective equipment and disinfecting ambulances, could stay in place.
Beauvais described what we are going through as “writing the book as we go.”
“A lot of people are taking it as trivial information and maybe not observing it or seeing it as important as it is, but it’s tried and true,” said Beauvais. “It’s guidance that’s put out there by the number one public health organization in our country and I think people need to take it seriously and observe it the best they can.”
But for now, Beauvais says the best ways for us to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash our hands for 20 seconds, wear masks in public, and to practice social distancing.