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1.
Ind Health ; 59(5): 318-324, 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547178

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is around the world. We attempt to apply three-step method in ISO/IEC Guide 51: 2014 to COVID-19 infection control in the workplace. The results show that the COVID-19 infection control measures include the eradication of the virus, the destruction of infectivity, the detoxification and weakening and the elimination of opportunities for infection as "Inherently Safe Design Measures", the avoidance of contact as "Safeguarding and Complementary Protective Measures" and the reduction of contact and the avoidance of seriousness as "Information for Use". Among these specific measures, the New Normal, especially in the manufacturing industries, would be "telecommuting" and "unmanned workplaces", which are part of the elimination of opportunities for infection, and "changes in flow lines" and "changes in airflow", which are part of the avoidance of contact. Where "telecommuting" and "unmanned workplaces" are feasible, they should be implemented as much as possible, and where they are not, attempts should be made to minimize human-to-human contact by "changes in flow lines". In addition, in the area of "changes in airflow", there are high expectations for future research on how to establish a ventilation design for COVID-19, in which but also the source would be workers themselves, not only combustible gases and toxic gases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Occupational Health/standards , Workplace/organization & administration , Global Health , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Teleworking , Ventilation/standards , Workplace/standards
2.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(21): 6745-6766, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524863

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that has created the current pandemic, has caused a worldwide worry. Different countries have since enforced varying levels of lockdowns and guidelines for their populations to follow in a serious effort to mitigate the spread. Up until recently, the majority of these regulations and policies were established on the assumption that the dominant routes of transmission of this virus are through droplets and fomite contact. However, there is now a substantial amount of research pointing towards the strong possibility that SARS-CoV-2 can spread through airborne means. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently recognized this, which poses the question of whether our collective methods of lessening transmission risk and keeping people safe have been sufficient. This paper is a comprehensive review of the evidence on SARS-CoV-2 being an airborne disease, through different epidemiological, experimental, and animal-model based published research. Studies opposing this evidence have also been discussed. The majority of these studies are favoring the high plausibility of SARS-CoV-2 aerosol transmission, and therefore the many implications of aerosol transmission have been discussed in this paper to suggest effective mitigation and control strategies.


Subject(s)
Aerosols , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Equipment and Supplies, Hospital/virology , Feces/virology , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Particulate Matter , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Ventilation/standards , Virus Inactivation
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(21): 779-784, 2021 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1395448

ABSTRACT

To meet the educational, physical, social, and emotional needs of children, many U.S. schools opened for in-person learning during fall 2020 by implementing strategies to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1,2). To date, there have been no U.S. studies comparing COVID-19 incidence in schools that varied in implementing recommended prevention strategies, including mask requirements and ventilation improvements* (2). Using data from Georgia kindergarten through grade 5 (K-5) schools that opened for in-person learning during fall 2020, CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) assessed the impact of school-level prevention strategies on incidence of COVID-19 among students and staff members before the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.† Among 169 K-5 schools that participated in a survey on prevention strategies and reported COVID-19 cases during November 16-December 11, 2020, COVID-19 incidence was 3.08 cases among students and staff members per 500 enrolled students.§ Adjusting for county-level incidence, COVID-19 incidence was 37% lower in schools that required teachers and staff members to use masks, and 39% lower in schools that improved ventilation, compared with schools that did not use these prevention strategies. Ventilation strategies associated with lower school incidence included methods to dilute airborne particles alone by opening windows, opening doors, or using fans (35% lower incidence), or in combination with methods to filter airborne particles with high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filtration with or without purification with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) (48% lower incidence). Multiple strategies should be implemented to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in schools (2); mask requirements for teachers and staff members and improved ventilation are important strategies that elementary schools could implement as part of a multicomponent approach to provide safer, in-person learning environments. Universal and correct mask use is still recommended by CDC for adults and children in schools regardless of vaccination status (2).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Schools , Ventilation/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Georgia/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence
4.
ACS Nano ; 14(7): 7704-7713, 2020 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387152

ABSTRACT

We advocate the widespread use of UV-C light as a short-term, easily deployable, and affordable way to limit virus spread in the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Radical social distancing with the associated shutdown of schools, restaurants, sport clubs, workplaces, and traveling has been shown to be effective in reducing virus spread, but its economic and social costs are unsustainable in the medium term. Simple measures like frequent handwashing, facial masks, and other physical barriers are being commonly adopted to prevent virus transmission. However, their efficacy may be limited, particularly in shared indoor spaces, where, in addition to airborne transmission, elements with small surface areas such as elevator buttons, door handles, and handrails are frequently used and can also mediate transmission. We argue that additional measures are necessary to reduce virus transmission when people resume attending schools and jobs that require proximity or some degree of physical contact. Among the available alternatives, UV-C light satisfies the requirements of rapid, widespread, and economically viable deployment. Its implementation is only limited by current production capacities, an increase of which requires swift intervention by industry and authorities.


Subject(s)
Air Conditioning/standards , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Heating/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Ventilation/standards , Air Conditioning/adverse effects , COVID-19 , Confined Spaces , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Heating/adverse effects , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Transportation/standards , Ultraviolet Rays
6.
New Solut ; 31(2): 170-177, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221724

ABSTRACT

Grocery store workers are essential workers, but often have not been provided with appropriate protection during the current pandemic. This report describes efforts made by one union local to protect workers, including negotiated paid sick leave and specific safety practices. Union representatives from 319 stores completed 1612 in-store surveys to assess compliance between 23 April 2020 and 31 August 2020. Employers provided the union with lists of workers confirmed to have COVID-19 infection through 31 December 2020. Worker infection rates were calculated using store employees represented by the union as the denominator and compared to cumulative county infection rates; outcome was dichotomized as rates higher or lower than background rates. Restrictions on reusable bags and management enforcement of customer mask usage were most strongly associated with COVID-19 rates lower than rates in the surrounding county. Stores that responded positively to worker complaints also had better outcomes. The union is currently engaging to promote improved ventilation and vaccination uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Labor Unions/legislation & jurisprudence , Occupations/statistics & numerical data , Safety/legislation & jurisprudence , Supermarkets , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Male , Occupations/legislation & jurisprudence , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sick Leave/legislation & jurisprudence , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Ventilation/legislation & jurisprudence , Ventilation/standards
9.
Breast Cancer ; 28(4): 969-976, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163168

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) undermines the benefits of cancer screening. To date, no study has identified specific infection control methods. We aimed to provide practical methods for COVID-19 risk reduction during breast cancer screening mammography (MMG) by examining an overview of potential contamination routes of aerosols and possible risks for patients and health care providers. METHODS: Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were conducted for airflow and aerosol dispersion in a 3D virtual model of a mobile MMG laboratory room. This model was constructed based on the actual mobile screening MMG bus 'Cosmos' in the Chiba Foundation for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention. Examiner and patient geometries were obtained by scanning an actual human using a 3D Scanner. Contamination of the room was evaluated by counting the numbers of suspended and deposited aerosols. RESULTS: We applied the CFD simulation model to the exhalation of small or large aerosols from a patient and examiner in the MMG laboratory. Only 14.5% and 54.5% of large and small aerosols, respectively, were discharged out of the room with two doors open. In contrast, the proportion of large and small aerosols discharged out of the room increased to 96.6% and 97.9%, respectively, with the addition of forced gentle wind by the blower fan. This simulation was verified by a mist aerosol experiment conducted in the mobile MMG laboratory. CONCLUSION: Adding forced ventilation to a MMG laboratory with two doors open may enable risk reduction dramatically. This could be applied to other clinical situations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Mammography/methods , Ventilation/standards , Adult , Aerosols , COVID-19/transmission , Computer Simulation , Exhalation , Female , Humans , Imaging, Three-Dimensional , Mammography/adverse effects , Occupational Exposure , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Int J Qual Health Care ; 33(1)2021 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127342

ABSTRACT

Several of the key organizational issues that we have had to face with the emergence of COVID-19 crisis are related to human factors/ergonomics (HFE) and the safety culture. During the crisis the main activities of the healthcare services have been profoundly affected. Patient safety and risk management units have also experienced the need to adapt rapidly. What can we do as HFE experts, now that the scenario has completely changed? We contend that: (a) we can favour and support the heuristics that are applied to manage the load of psycho-cognitive stress. (b) We can observe, collect strategies and develop analytic schemes, thereby creating a memory of the organization for improvement in the future. (c) And we can support in educating and engaging the public. This crisis has forced the community of healthcare experts to broaden their reflections: for the future to come, our communities of experts in the field of risk management HF/E, quality and safety of care and public health should play together an important role from the very beginning, from the time of peace.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Ergonomics , Infection Control/organization & administration , Safety Management/organization & administration , Hand Hygiene/standards , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Organizational Culture , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Quality Indicators, Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety Management/standards , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Ventilation/standards
14.
HERD ; 14(2): 38-48, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975844

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES, PURPOSES, OR AIM: To identify design strategies utilized in airborne infection isolation and biocontainment patient rooms that improve infection control potential in an alternative care environment. BACKGROUND: As SARS-CoV-2 spreads and health care facilities near or exceed capacity, facilities may implement alternative care sites (ACSs). With COVID-19 surges predicted, developing additional capacity in alternative facilities, including hotels and convention centers, into patient care environments requires early careful consideration of the existing space constraints, infrastructure, and modifications needed for patient care and infection control. Design-based strategies utilizing engineering solutions have the greatest impact, followed by medical and operational strategies. METHODS: This article evaluates infection control and environmental strategies in inpatient units and proposes system modifications to ACS surge facilities to reduce infection risk and improve care environments. RESULTS: Although adequate for an acute infectious disease outbreak, existing capacity in U.S. biocontainment units and airborne infection isolation rooms is not sufficient for widespread infection control and isolation during a pandemic. To improve patients' outcomes and decrease infection transmission risk in the alternative care facility, hospital planners, administrators, and clinicians can take cues from evidence-based strategies implemented in biocontainment units and standard inpatient rooms. CONCLUSIONS: Innovative technologies, including optimized air-handling systems with ultraviolet and particle filters, can be an essential part of an infection control strategy. For flexible surge capacity in future ACS and hospital projects, interdisciplinary design and management teams should apply strategies optimizing the treatment of both infectious patients and minimizing the risk to health care workers.


Subject(s)
Built Environment/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Patients' Rooms/organization & administration , Built Environment/standards , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Pandemics , Patient Isolation/standards , Patients' Rooms/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation/standards
15.
J Perioper Pract ; 31(1-2): 18-23, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954999

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has rapidly developed into a global pandemic and public health emergency. The transmission and virulence of this new pathogen have raised concern for how best to protect healthcare professionals while effectively providing care to the infected patient requiring surgery. Although negative pressure rooms are ideal for aerosol-generating procedures, such as intubation and extubation, most operating theatres are generally maintained at a positive pressure when compared with the surrounding areas. This article compares negative and positive pressure rooms and the advantages of a negative pressure environment in optimising clinical care and minimising the exposure of patients and health care professionals to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Operating Rooms/standards , Patient Isolators/standards , Perioperative Care/standards , Ventilation/standards , COVID-19 , Humans , Practice Guidelines as Topic
16.
Toxicol Ind Health ; 36(9): 644-653, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947900

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019, otherwise referred to as COVID-19, started in China and quickly became a worldwide pandemic. Beginning in March 2020, nonessential businesses in the United States were closed, and many communities were under shelter-in-place orders. As of May 2020, some business sectors started reopening, even amidst concerns of worker health as the pandemic continued. In addition to physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection routines, and using face coverings, building ventilation can also be an important risk mitigation measure for controlling exposure to SARS-CoV-2 indoors. A number of studies to date, however, have focused on ventilation in medical facilities (e.g. hospitals) as the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is higher there (because of the close proximity of workers to patients who have the disease and their treatment procedures). Few studies have focused on ventilation use in nonmedical settings (e.g. office buildings and school classrooms), despite the large population of workers and community members in these facilities. In this article, we review the role that building ventilation can play in minimizing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in nonmedical environments and some recommended protocols to follow for its proper use, including cleaning and maintaining mechanical ventilation systems for businesses, schools, and homes.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ventilation/methods , Ventilation/standards , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Pandemics , Workplace
18.
J Occup Environ Hyg ; 17(10): 447-456, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-786940

ABSTRACT

Bioaerosols are known to be an important transmission pathway for SARS-CoV-2. We report a framework for estimating the risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 via aerosols in laboratory and office settings, based on an exponential dose-response model and analysis of air flow and purification in typical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. High-circulation HVAC systems with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration dramatically reduce exposure to the virus in indoor settings, and surgical masks or N95 respirators further reduce exposure. As an example of our risk assessment model, we consider the precautions needed for a typical experimental physical science group to maintain a low risk of transmission over six months of operation. We recommend that, for environments where fewer than five individuals significantly overlap, work spaces should remain vacant for between one (high-circulation HVAC with HEPA filtration) to six (low-circulation HVAC with no filtration) air exchange times before a new worker enters in order to maintain no more than 1% chance of infection over six months of operation in the workplace. Our model is readily applied to similar settings that are not explicitly given here. We also provide a framework for evaluating infection mitigation through ventilation in multiple occupancy spaces.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Laboratories/standards , Models, Statistical , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Ventilation/standards , Workplace/standards , Air Conditioning/standards , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Occupational Health , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Epidemiol Infect ; 148: e174, 2020 08 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695910

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global health threat. A hospital in Zhuhai adopted several measures in Fever Clinic Management (FCM) to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19. FCM has been proved to be effective in preventing nosocomial cross infection. Faced with the emergency, the hospital undertook creative operational steps in relation to the control and spread of COVID-19, with special focuses on physical and administrative layout of buildings, staff training and preventative procedures. The first operational step was to set up triaging stations at all entrances and then complete a standard and qualified fever clinic, which was isolated from the other buildings within our hospital complex. Secondly, the hospital established its human resource reservation for emergency response and the allocation of human resources to ensure strict and standardised training methods through the hospital for all medical staff and ancillary employees. Thirdly, the hospital divided the fever clinic into partitioned areas and adapted a three-level triaging system. The experiences shared in this paper would be of practical help for the facilities that are encountering or will encounter the challenges of COVID-19, i.e. to prevent nosocomial cross infection among patients and physicians.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Emergency Medical Services/methods , Hospital Design and Construction/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks , Emergency Medical Services/organization & administration , Emergency Medical Services/standards , Fever/diagnosis , Fever/etiology , Fever/therapy , Hospital Design and Construction/standards , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Teaching , Time Factors , Triage/methods , Ventilation/standards , Workflow , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/standards
20.
Postgrad Med ; 132(7): 643-649, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-382140

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Recent respiratory infectious disease (RID) outbreaks of influenza and the novel coronavirus have resulted in global pandemics. RIDs can trigger nosocomial infections if not adequately prevented. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to rate the adequacy of healthcare workers (HCWs) and hospital settings on RID prevention using unannounced standardized patients (USP) in clinical settings of hospital gateways. METHODS: Trained USPs visited 5 clinical settings: information desks, registration desks, two outpatient departments and the emergency departments in 10 hospitals across 3 cities of Inner Mongolia, China. USPs observed the hospital air ventilation and distance from the nearest hand-washing facilities to each clinical setting, then mimicked symptoms of either tuberculosis or influenza before observing the HCW's behavior. A total of 480 clinical-setting assessments were made by 19 USPs. RESULTS: The overall adequacy of triage services was 86.7% and for prevention of the spread of airborne droplets was 83.5%. Almost all hospitals offered adequate air ventilation. Compared to the information desk, adequacy of triage and preventing the spread of airborne droplets by physicians in the three clinical departments was less likely to be adequate. Triage services for USPs simulating symptoms of influenza were 2.6 times more likely to be adequate than for those simulating symptoms of tuberculosis but there was no significant difference in the prevention of the spread of airborne droplets. CONCLUSIONS: There is a need to improve respiratory infectious disease procedures in our study hospitals, especially in outpatient and emergency departments.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital , Health Personnel/standards , Infection Control/standards , Outpatient Clinics, Hospital , Patient Simulation , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Guideline Adherence , Hand Disinfection/standards , Hospitals , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/transmission , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Respiratory Tract Infections/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/standards , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/prevention & control , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/transmission , Ventilation/standards
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