Like most businesses, cannabis facilities may not have a plan in place for events like COVID-19. Infection prevention is a true team effort, and everyone at your facility has a role to play in creating an infection control protocol that works for your facility. This plan may include mandating that sick workers stay home and outlining how they will be compensated, ensuring that employees have access to hand sanitizers, and developing a schedule for regular disinfection of high-touch surfaces throughout your facility. Getting buy-in from everyone on your team will go a long way in ensuring that everyone is taking the appropriate precautions.
The importance of regular handwashing cannot be overstated. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are effective at killing germs on your hand, but they cannot be used as a replacement for handwashing. Using soap and water is required to actually clean and remove dirt and germs from your hands, and along with avoiding contact with sick people, is among the most important measures in staying healthy. Encourage your entire team to routinely wash their hands for at least 20 seconds throughout the day.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is known to survive on surfaces, and Health Canada recommends cleaning surfaces and objects to prevent this route of pathogen transmission.1 While disinfecting surfaces within growing rooms is always important to prevent the transmission of plant pathogens, this human outbreak may call for bringing the disinfectants into other areas of your facility such as office spaces, hallways, and storage areas. In particular, high-touch surfaces should be disinfected on a regular basis. This includes your staff room and kitchen surfaces, desks, computer keyboards, mice, door knobs, light switches, and phones – these surfaces can harbour viruses, and easily spread them from one person to the next.