May 7, 2020

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Disinfection Guidance, PPE Burn Rate, and More

COVID-19 updates from The Synergist for May 7:

OSHA publishes guidance for dentistry workers. The guidance identifies dentistry work tasks associated with low, medium, high, and very high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Included are recommendations for personal protective equipment for well patients and for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Cleaning and disinfecting guidance. In anticipation of the imminent reopening of some aspects of the U.S. economy, CDC has published guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes. An accompanying “decision tool” (PDF) summarizes the processes of cleaning and disinfection and presents a simple flowchart for determining which surfaces and areas to prioritize.

Optimizing disposable glove supply. With critical medical supplies dwindling, CDC has released instructions intended to help federal, state, and local public health officials and healthcare leaders optimize their stocks of disposable medical gloves. Read more.

Practical approaches for protecting healthcare workers, patients, and communities. CDC offers ten suggestions for decision makers within healthcare systems and facilities based on current experiences.

Quantifying the spread of COVID-19 cases. Over a three-week period from late February to early March the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States increased more than one thousand-fold, according to a new report from CDC. Read more.

Recommendations for curbside pickup and takeout services. An OSHA safety alert presents tips for protecting restaurant workers from coronavirus exposure while providing pickup and takeout service.

Recommended isolation time extended. CDC has extended its recommended period of isolation for individuals with COVID-19 from seven to ten days, according to updated guidance released May 3. Read more.

NIOSH prioritizing new respirator approval applications. NIOSH has informed respirator manufacturers that the agency’s Respirator Approval Program is prioritizing particulate filtering respirator approval applications submitted by existing approval holders and new domestic respirator manufacturers or applicants. Read more.

Webinar focuses on nursing homes. Nursing home residents represent less than 0.5 percent of the total U.S. population but 15 percent of COVID-19 fatalities. On April 22, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a webinar that discussed ways to keep patients and staff safe at nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recording of the webinar is now available.

NIOSH releases app version of PPE Burn Rate calculator. The NIOSH PPE Tracker app helps track personal protective equipment inventory. The app is based on the agency’s PPE Burn Rate Calculator spreadsheet. Both tools help facilities calculate their average PPE consumption rate.