Since the start of the pandemic at the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 has turned from a distant tale to a public concern right in front of us. Between lockdowns and social distancing, a lot has chanced since, but one thing remains the same: as a facility manager, you can do your part to save lives and protect people.
First of all, we’d like to make clear that the content of this site is not intended to be considered medical advice – follow the links below to official government recommendations! However, we have compiled some pointers from those government outlets (US and Canada) to give you some useful tips on what you can do.
Most importantly (and to borrow the words from Douglas Adams’ eternally true Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy): DON’T PANIC.
Second: It's really important that you help preventing Corona and other germs from spreading. Even if you're not a member of a risk group, you can still become a vector - someone who accidentally transmits the virus to people who are at risk: senior citizens, pregnant people, young children, and persons with a weakened immune system should take protective measures very seriously. Consult with a medical professional for advice. There are many things you can actively do to prevent an infection - starting with getting the right information and education.
If you or people you know or work with are travelling, be aware of high risk areas, precautions, and potential travel bans. If possible, avoid travelling to high risk areas and cancel or delay unnecessary trips (e.g., consider conducting business meetings via conference call instead).
For the latest updates on COVID-19:
Link to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 page:
What you can do
Some of the measures you can take seem extremely simple, but in reality the are surprisingly effective to protect you and others:
- washing your hands regularly and properly;
- sneezing and coughing into your elbow, arm, or a tissue;
- keeping a safe distance to other people (especially if they show symptoms, social distancing is key);
- avoiding large crowds;
- wearing a non-medical mask when indoors or in places where you can't socially distance;
- aerating indoor spaces regularly to reduce infection risks and spreading;
- self-quarantine or isolate if you feel sick and have the option.
As of now (mid-March 2020) there is no vaccine for COVID-19 - don't fall for scams and miracle cures. Talk to your doctor via phone before going in (and potentially infecting an entire waiting room's worth of patients) and discuss the options.
As of fall 2020, countries around the world are entering the second (or arguably even third) wave and many experts believe it has already started (October 20, 2020). In combination with the cold (and more people spending time indoors), it's important that you encourage people to wear masks, maintain social distancing within facilities, provide access to hand washing and sanitisation.
COVID Prevention isn't humbug. It saves lives.
Even if those actions don't sound like much to you, they make a lot of sense if you understand the way COVID-19 gets spread: the WHO has declared the outbreak a pandemic which means that containing it (= keeping it from spreading) is very, very important now. At this point, the biggest threat is the strain on health systems (i.e. hospitals reaching capacity), and minimising the number of new infections helps take the pressure off.
This keyword has been going around a lot lately: keep your distance from others, keep unnecessary socialising to a minimum, even if it's tough - your friend wouldn't want a virus infection for their birthday, right? The incubation period for COVID-19 can be as long as 14 days: a few weeks of keeping up with the peeps via phone or social networks won't kill anyone. Remind your co-workers, friends, and family that it's not them, it's the germs. Humankind thanks you for your patience!
Special Attention: Schools, Senior Residences, Health Care Facilities
The above recommendations hold true for everyone, but are even more important for Senior Residences, Schools, and other (Long Term) Care Facilities because of their public nature and demographics (seniors & young children, respectively).
When you’re in maintenance and facility management in one of said places, it’s should be your main concern to keep everyone safe, calm, and informed. Remember that as the facility manager, you can significantly contribute to the success of prevention and protection measures with a few simple actions.
- Provide access to information for proper hygiene in washrooms, kitchens, common areas, classrooms, cafeterias, at entrances, and so on. Use age-appropriate signage and information sheets (see our Resources Section).
- Make sure to update all staff on relevant news and training.
- Schedule (additional) cleaning/disinfection tasks for frequently used areas (e.g. doors, light switches) and waste disposal (e.g. used tissues).
- Throughout your facility, provide frequent and easy access to hygiene products (tissues, soap, etc.) and hand washing facilities.
- Encourage sick employees, students, parents, or visitors to stay home and not enter your facility.
- Create or update your emergency preparedness plan (learn more here); implement preemptive measures.
Canada: Information for Health Professionals.
Let us help You helping
Nobody wants COVID-19 to spread around like wildfire, and especially not in a large business or a care facility. As a Facility Manager, you have a special interest in preparedness and prevention – for the sake of your building and everyone in it.
As your trusted CMMS partner, we’d be happy to assist in your efforts to get you facility ready. For example, your software package can help with:
- Scheduling and delegating cleaning/sanitizing tasks;
- Inventory Tracking for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
- Communication and information sharing;
- Creating and updating your Emergency Preparedness Plan;
- Keeping track of supply levels (medical products, cleaners, etc.).
Contact us for more information and assistance.
Stay safe and healthy!
If you have questions about COVID-19, call the official government hotlines at
Please note: the information on this site (other than the links to official government and WHO pages) is not supposed to be considered medical or official government advice but is for entertainment purposes only. For official government information, please consult the websites for the US and Canada.