The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is relaxing its exposure and prevention guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting.
Why? Due to recent data and studies, the risk of contracting COVID-19 through surfaces is low.
Why the sudden change in COVID-19 guidelines?
Since the pandemic began, cleaning and disinfecting have been a key element of CDC COVID-19 guidelines.
However, a science brief issued on April 5 by the CDC uses available epidemiology data, studies and environmental transmission factors to show that the main route by which COVID-19 is respiratory droplets, with surface transmission considered a low risk.
Additionally, the brief says that cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent, and not disinfecting, is enough to reduce risk. However, in indoor work environments where a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 was present within the past 24 hours, disinfecting is recommended.
The risk of surface transmission can also be reduced by wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, cleaning, and taking other measures to maintain safe facilities.
It’s difficult to account for the number of COVID-19 infections linked to surface transmissions because of a lack of reporting in such cases.
However, quantitative microbial risk assessment studies estimate the risk of transmission is low – less than 1 in 10,000.
Is another OSHA temporary emergency standard on the way?
On April 26, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration submitted a draft of an emergency temporary standard related to COVID-19 guidelines to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory affairs.
This is one of the final steps before the ETS can be published in the federal registrar. However, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh testified on April 28 in a subcommittee meeting that OSHA has no target date for issuing an emergency temporary standard.
Three months ago, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order that directed OSHA to consider an ETS if they considered it necessary and issue it by March 15.
So far, the request remains unfulfilled.
About Worksite Medical
In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.
Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.
We conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as audiometric exams, pulmonary function tests and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.
With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.
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Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote