Halden's technique boasts high sensitivity, with the potential to detect the signature of a single infected individual among 100 to 2 million persons. To accomplish this, wastewater samples are screened for the presence of nucleic acid fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The RNA genomes are amplified through a process known as reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT qPCR). CREDIT Shireen Dooling

Back to Office? Replace coffee pot, restrain from hand shake – say CDC Guidelines

No more hand shakes or fist bumps if you are returning to your office. Temperature and symptom checks, plastic desk shields, and face coverings worn at all times — are some of the urgent recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for those who are gearing up to return to offices despite the pandemic.

“Replace high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks, with alternatives such as prepackaged, single-serving items,” says one of the guidelines issued by the CDC.

Workers in office buildings may be at risk for exposure to the coronavirus. Office building employers, building owners and managers, and building operations specialists can take “steps to create a safe and healthy workplace and protect workers and clients,” said the CDC on its website.

Applicable anywhere in the world, including India once the lockdown is lifted next week, here’s the list:

CDC Guidelines to Office Goers

  • Replace high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks
  • Upon arriving at work, employees should get a temperature and symptom check.
  • Inside the office, desks should be six feet apart or partition with plastic shields be erected.
  • Seating should be barred in common areas.
  • Face coverings should be worn at all times.
  • Regular hand washing of at least 20 seconds; no fist bumps or handshakes; no face touching.
  • Limit use and occupancy of elevators to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Repeat disinfecting of surfaces, cleansing out the ventilation system, opening windows and allow ventilation.
  • Display posters in offices recommending best practices.

The guidelines would lead to a far-reaching remaking of the corporate work experience and those who are returning to work are urged to drive to work by themselves, instead of taking public transportation or car-pooling, to avoid potential exposure to the virus.

The CDC has finally advised companies to allow white-collar employees at all levels to continue work from home, which has proved effective in the last few months.

About Arun Kumar

Arun has been associated with India International Times since 2018 and he has been a key reporter in covering science and space related stories. He can be reached at reporter@indiainternationaltimes.com.

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