COVID-19 Resources

Due to the high number of inquiries received and the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG is offering COVID-19 Retainer Packages to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.

Request a quote below or call us: 1-800-401-2239

For the food industry

  • Regular Updates

  • Advice for Food Industry

  • What can you (we) all do?

 
Key Points

Updated: July 13, 2020

  • In today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss some of the questions we have received about masks, including “Should I wear a mask when I’m alone in the car?” to  “Employees wear masks at work, but when they’re at parties or get-togethers, they remove their masks and stand very close to one another; why is that?” Read more here.

  • Behavior change is difficult. Individuals may not wear masks (or socially distance) in certain situations due to optimism bias. Optimism bias occurs when someone believes that negative things are less likely to happen to them; people believe that positive events are more likely to happen and underestimate the probability of negative events happening to them (Sharot, 2011). We see optimism bias relative to food safety (e.g., people don’t believe they are likely to acquire foodborne illness from their own food preparations) and also with COVID-19 (e.g., people believe they are unlikely to become ill because they may not have preconditions or may not be in a certain age range). Optimism bias can be dangerous.   

  • As of today, Monday, Florida is now reporting >12,000 new cases

  • The New York Times has put together a full timeline of the COVID-19 epidemic. Read more here.

  • There has been an increase in what is known as “COVID parties” in which individuals gather at a party in which at least one individual attending has been tested/confirmed with COVID to see if anyone gets sick and/or to test if the virus really exists. There have been many cases in which individuals (who had not believed in the severity of COVID-19) have fallen ill and died.

  • Please do not forget to check your hand sanitizers. For the full FDA list of hand-sanitizers that contain dangerous chemicals other than ethanol, please see here

 
Recommendations for Industry

TAG's Q&A: Despite Information, Mask Adversity Continues.

Q. My locality requires that people wear masks while indoors with other people and while outdoors when six-foot distancing cannot be maintained. While my employees are wearing masks, we’re seeing that some wear masks to cover their mouths but not their noses; are pulling the masks down or off when together (e.g. celebrating a birthday and standing close together around a cake); or even just to speak (to be more clearly heard).

 

A. Despite all the available information and mandates passed, TAG continues to receive varied questions on mask-wearing; especially since mandates may not cover very specific instances. It is, to a certain extent, understandable: people are tired of wearing a mask and masks can be uncomfortable in the hot weather and when worn for extended periods. Additionally, (setting aside the questions of self-rights and politics), the general consensus that masks protect others more than oneself can easily make those who have no symptoms (whether they are truly infection-free or are simply pre- or asymptomatic) feel that there is no need for them to wear a mask-- at work or out in public.

 

Behavior change can be difficult, particularly when implementing an undesired mandate for which the lack of anything bad happening proves its value. In this way, the preventive measures for COVID (including mask-usage) are like food safety. When all preventive controls/food safety practices are implemented, food contamination rarely occurs – so the lack of contamination inherently shows that the practices are working properly (and is a good thing). In the same way, when masks are worn and six-foot distancing is observed (and wellness checks and enhanced sanitation and personal hygiene are implemented), the likelihood of infection is significantly reduced – showing that the practices are working. Since people don’t see the immediate and tangible effects of mask-wearing and social distancing it may be more difficult to change behaviors and make an informed decision to practice them based on symptoms people have never experienced, even when they may still transmit the virus without symptoms.

 

There is a similar parallel to smoking indoors and/or seat-belt usage. While not every trip will result in an accident and a single exposure to secondhand smoke will not cause cancer, the preventive measures taken (e.g. not allowing indoor smoking and enforcing seatbelt usage) is meant to reduce risk. When someone is asymptomatic and infected with COVID-19, they are unaware that they may infect others. However, by wearing a mask, they are reducing the risk of infecting others (all the while never knowing they were infected). 

 

TAG recommends that, as much as possible, you continue to educate your employees (perhaps, as done above, comparing mask-wearing to food safety with which they are familiar) and provide some practical applications demonstrating  that mask-wearing is not a 24/7 requirement even when outside the home:

TAG recommends that, as much as possible, you continue to educate your employees (perhaps, as done above, comparing mask-wearing to food safety with which they are familiar) and provide some practical applications demonstrating  that mask-wearing is not a 24/7 requirement even when outside the home:

  • Go ahead and celebrate birthdays, but stay at least six feet apart and wear your mask until the cake is cut (singing softly into your mask if you must). Once you have your cake, step back farther, pull down your mask, and eat.

  • Some masks can slightly distort speech; if someone is having trouble understanding you, speak more slowly and distinctly, or ask others to do so if you don’t understand them.

  • If you are driving with no one else in the vehicle – go ahead and remove your mask. Give yourself a break – there is no one to infect. But don’t forget to wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before and after you handle your mask.

  • While being outside can decrease COVID-19 spread, rules and most mandates still apply: If you’re within six feet of others, wear a mask.

  • If you are walking the dog or biking at the park, have your mask at the ready. Loop it around your neck or ears and pull it up when others draw near.

  • Wear your mask over both your mouth and nose. Droplets can spread (and be taken in) by your nose as well as your mouth. You are also less likely to touch your nose if it is covered.

 

It may feel that we’ve talked a lot recently about mask usage, but there is so much counter-talk out there that we all need to continue to attempt to quiet the noise.

 
 

Keep up to date with COVID-19:

Please send us any questions, comments, and/or concerns! We are happy to talk with you. 

 

OR call us at 1-800-401-2239

Learn how TAG can help your company ensure food safety and brand protection.

Contact us today!

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