COVID-19 Misinformation Can Lead to Virus Spread
Managers Need to Ensure Workers Are Following Safety Precautions
Professional cleaners and maintenance workers have a responsibility to wear the proper personal protection equipment (PPE), such as gloves and masks, to protect them and building residents from the coronavirus. However, Americans have been living with coronavirus restrictions for six months, and pandemic fatigue has set in. In addition, misleading information spread over the internet can cause people to question whether PPE and social distancing protocols are still necessary.
Supervisors and facility health managers must ensure their workers are following proper coronavirus safety protocols as the coronavirus pandemic has not ended, Infection Control Today reports. Infection specialists must be the primary source of COVID-19 information in their facilities, to counteract misleading information often found online.
For example, many people have seen social media posts offering different interpretations of information recently posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The posted information stated that only 6% of people who died of COVID-19 deaths had just the coronavirus listed as the cause of death, while there were, on average 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death for people who had medical conditions in addition to COVID-19 This lead to speculation that COVID-19 is only a risk to people with serious health conditions, so most people can abandon safety protocols and resume normal activities without PPE or social distancing. It also resulted in doubts regarding the number of people who died of COVID-19 and questions as to whether the coronavirus is as deadly as the flu.
These suspicions were spread over the internet, but not just by people. A study from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg found that over half of the accounts tweeting about the coronavirus are likely bots—automated social media accounts designed to spread misinformation. As you would like your workers receiving their COVID-19 information from an infection control specialist, rather than a bot, thorough information and training programs on coronavirus protocols are crucial for your employees.