Coronavirus Update for April 22, 2020

Coronavirus Update – April 20

Your coronavirus update for April 22, 2020; stay up to date on the COVID-19 pandemic with Elite

More than 2.4 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed as of Monday evening, including more than 170,000 deaths. Healthcare officials in the United States have reported nearly 800,000 positive COVID-19 patients and more than 42,000 deaths. 

One of the more popular ongoing curiosities about COVID-19 has been whether or not sunlight and higher temperatures could provide protection about the virus lingering into the summer months. According to preliminary test results released by governmental laboratory experiments, the coronavirus does not survive long in sunlight, high temperatures, and/or high humidity.4

Although there is no assurance that the virus can be “eliminated” by summertime elements, the study found that the risk of “transmission from surfaces outdoors is lower during daylight” and under higher temperature and humidity conditions. “Sunlight destroys the virus quickly,” according to a briefing on the results.

Protests to “Reopen” Country Viewed Unfavorable

As the nature of COVID-19 discussion turns increasingly more political, a recent survey conducted by Yahoo News and YouGov shows that a majority of Americans are not supportive of protests that encourage defiance of current social distancing guidelines.

According to the survey, which was taken April 17-19, 60 percent of the American public opposes the act of protesting at this time, even if the total amount of protesting would result in small crowds.1

Meanwhile, in Florida there are reports of large crowds gathering on beaches after recent openings.2

Inaccurate Testing New Cause For Concern? 

According to a report by The Washington Post, many antibody tests that have been permitted by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration on the market to detect coronavirus infections have appeared without prior review, much to the dismay of healthcare officials.3 The resulting emergence of tests not that are reviewed by the FDA could lead to confusion among doctors, hospital staff, employers, and consumers. According to the Post report, Stephen Hahn, FDA commissioner, has said that “people should be very cautious” about tests that have not undergone the process of acquiring emergency-use authorization from the FDA. Four tests have reportedly received such authorization: Cellex, Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, and Mount Sinai Laboratory. The unreviewed tests reportedly remain on the market.

CDC Guidance on Safety Practices for “Critical” Healthcare Workers Exposed To COVID-19

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) are advising that healthcare workers deemed as critical to infrastructure be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19 if they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect themselves and the community.

Potential exposure is defined by the CDC as being a household contact or having close contact within six feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.

Critical Infrastructure workers who have had an exposure, but remain asymptomatic should adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift:5

Pre-Screening: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to the beginning of a work shift. Temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.

Regular Monitoring: If the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, he/she should self-monitor under the supervision of the employer’s occupational health program.

Mask Wearing: The employee should wear a facemask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.

Social Distancing: The employee should maintain six feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.

Disinfecting & Cleaning of Work Spaces: Offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared electronic equipment should be routinely cleaned and disinfected. If the employee becomes sick during the day, he/she should be sent home immediately. Surfaces in his/her workspace should be cleaned and disinfected. Information on persons who had contact with the ill employee during the time the employee had symptoms and two days prior to symptoms should be compiled. Others at the facility with close contact within six feet of the employee during this time would be considered exposed.

Thank you for joining us for your coronavirus update for April 22, 2020. Please come back next week to stay up to date, and if you missed last week’s news, check out our last update here.

References

  1. Romano A. Yahoo News/YouGov Coronavirus Poll: Most Americans Reject Anti-lockdown Protests. 2020. Yahoo News. Accessed online: https://news.yahoo.com/yahoo-news-you-gov-coronavirus-poll-most-americans-reject-antilockdown-protests-124259347.html
  2. Kornfield M, Pell S. #FloridaMorons Trends After People Flock to Reopened Florida Beaches. Washington Post. 2020. Accessed online: www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/18/florida-beaches-reopen-coronavirus
  3. McGinley L. Dozens of Coronavirus Antibody Tests on the Market Were Never Vetted by the FDA, Leading to Accuracy Concerns. Washington Post. 2020. Accessed online: www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/19/fda-antibody-tests-coronavirus-review
  4. Winter J, Weinberger S. Sunlight Destroys Virus Quickly, New Govt. Tests Find, But Experts Say Pandemic Could Last Through Summer. Yahoo News. 2020. Accessed online: https://news.yahoo.com/sunlight-destroys-coronavirus-very-quickly-new-government-tests-find-but-experts-say-pandemic-could-still-last-through-summer-200745675.html
  5. Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. CDC. 2020. Accessed online: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html

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