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ASHRAE is a global professional society of over 55,000 members committed to serve humanity by advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and their allied fields. ASHRAE has established a Task Force to help deploy technical resources to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and possible future epidemics as it […]
New law preventing COVID-19: the first effort to prevent occupational transmission of disease of the 21st century in the USA
Using legislative policy analysis methods, this article describes the traditional principles of state labor relations that were rewritten using the legislative pen, now instead requiring risk assessment for all employees and employers to thereby prevent occupational transmission of disease. As discussed here, Virginia, the USA state, responded with a COVID-19 prevention law deploying modern industrial […]
The global spread of COVID-19 in early 2020 has significantly increased the demand for face masks around the world while stimulating research about their efficacy. Here we adapt a re- recently demonstrated optical imaging approach and highlight stark differences in the effectiveness of different masks and mask alternatives to suppress the spread of respiratory droplets […]
On September 23, 1999, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request for a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) at the Fremont Beef Company in Fremont, Nebraska. The request, from management officials at the plant, concerned worker exposures to ozone during research and development (R&D) procedures for a new sanitation treatment process […]
Protecting the health, safety and welfare of the world’s students, faculty, and administrators from the spread of SARS-Cov-2 (the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease) is essential to protecting the entire population. ASHRAE’s guidance for schools provides practical information and checklists to help minimize the chance of spreading SARS-CoV-2. A summary of key general recommendations […]
Approximately 80% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 report persistent symptoms several months after infection onset. However, knowledge of long-term outcomes among individuals with mild COVID-19 is scarce, and prevalence data are hampered by selection bias and suboptimal control groups. This cohort study investigated COVID-19–related long-term symptoms in health care professionals.
On March 11, 2020, less than 2 weeks after community transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2) was identified in the US, the World Health Organization declared that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was a global pandemic. By March 25, 2020, all kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) public schools in the […]
Position Paper: Bioterrorism Preparedness & Response A Proposed Model for Bioterrorism Response: Initial Operations and Characterization
This paper presents the position of the InterAgency Board (IAB) on an approach to developing a national bioterrorism response capability to address long-standing gaps in domestic bioterrorism preparedness and response. The IAB proposes a model that brings together public safety jurisdictions, federal resources, processes, standards, and doctrine to support the creation of a network of locally owned and operated […]
As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), began to spread globally, it became apparent that the virus, unlike the closely related SARS-CoV in the 2003 outbreak, could not be contained by symptom-based screening alone. Asymptomatic and clinically mild infections were uncommon during the 2003 SARS-CoV […]
The United States has mobilized the full force of its clinical research enterprise to address the Covid-19 pandemic, allocating billions of dollars to support timely research. As of January 2021, for example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had issued nearly a thousand awards cumulatively worth roughly $2 billion to support Covid-19 projects ranging from […]
More Than 1 in 3 US Adults Use Disinfectants Unsafely; In a recent online survey, 39% of US adults reported using disinfectants and other cleaning products in potentially harmful ways as they tried to prevent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.
News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Precautions Limited Cases at Milwaukee Primary
High rates of voting by mail and other pre- prevention strategies during Milwaukee’s April primary limited the election-related spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), according to a report by CDC and City of Milwaukee Health Department researchers.
Nearly 1 in 5 hospitals reduced in-person lactation support and nearly three-quarters discharged new mothers in less than 48 hours to lessen the risk of contracting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, according to a CDC report.
The current pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has undergone an observed exponential increase of cases that has overrun hospitals across the world. Many people have mild forms of the disease and are advised not to go to the hospital or to seek a diagnostic test […]
Aerosols represent a potential transmission route of COVID-19. This study examined the effect of simulated sunlight, relative humidity, and suspension matrix on the stability of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosols. Simulated sunlight and matrix significantly affected the decay rate of the virus. Relative humidity alone did not affect the decay rate; however, minor interactions between relative humidity and other […]
Many individuals experience persistent symptoms and a decline in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) illness. Existing studies have focused on hospitalized individuals 30 to 90 days after illness onset and have reported symptoms up to 110 days after illness. Longer-term sequelae in outpatients have not been well characterized.
Facilities outfit with sensor monitors will be able to detect pathogens in water, air, and surfaces. In the event that someone who has recently been in the facility tests positive for COVID-19, the facility can run sensor tests and see if any spaces are compromised.
Over the course of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, the clinical, scientific, and public health communities have had to respond to new viral genetic variants. Each one has triggered a flurry of media attention, a range of reactions from the scientific community, and calls from governments to either “stay calm” or […]
Addressing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Decontamination: Methylene Blue and Light Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on N95 Respirators and Masks with Maintenance of Integrity and Fit
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in critical personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, especially filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs, also known as N95 respirators) and medical masks (MMs). N95 FFRs are respiratory protective devices which are designed to filter at least 95% of airborne particles. A MM is a medical device […]
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Social Distancing Interventions to Delay or Flatten the Epidemic Curve of Coronavirus Disease
By April 2, 2020, >1 million persons worldwide were infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. We used a mathematical model to investigate the effectiveness of social distancing interventions in a mid-sized city. Interventions reduced contacts of adults >60 years of age, adults 20–59 years of age, and children <19 years of age for […]
Studies by the signatories and other scientists have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in air and pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond 1–2 m from an infected individual. For example, at typical indoor air velocities, a 5-μm […]
Exposure to on-the-job health hazards is a problem faced by workers worldwide. Unlike safety hazards that may lead to injury, health hazards can lead to various types of illness. For example, exposures to some chemicals used in work processes may cause immediate sensory irritation (e.g., stinging or burning eyes, dry throat, cough); in other cases, […]
“This is the training program no business can be without, not only during this pandemic, but long after. Prevention, health and safety, leadership, employee morale, customer relations – it’s all here.” Ambassador [ret.] Dr. Neil Parsan
Proper disinfectant and disinfection concepts of operations (CONOPs) depend on the type of surface, material compatibility, and surface dimensions/complexity. Provided here are several U.S. Government references that address a broad range of questions regarding decontamination CONOPs and other operations within environments where SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may be present. These references are provided in alphabetical […]
The global struggle against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now in its eighth month since the pandemic virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first emerged. The severe economic, personal, and psychological adverse effects of shutdowns and social distancing make these effective preventive measures challenging to sustain long-term. In 1999, just before the launch […]
Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Screening Strategies to Permit the Safe Reopening of College Campuses in the United States
Universities across the United States are struggling with the question of whether and how to reopen for the fall 2020 semester. Residential colleges, with communal living arrangements, shared dining spaces, intimate classrooms, and a population of young adults anxious to socialize, pose a particular challenge. In the absence of an effective vaccine, a proven therapy, […]
The risk of contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during air travel is lower than from an office building, classroom, supermarket, or commuter train. Modern airplanes maintain clean air by circulating a mix of fresh air and air recycled through HEPA filters, the same type of air filters used in hospital operating rooms.
A global shortage of respirators (e.g., N95 and N100) and surgical masks has led the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to recommend conservation and, when necessary, the reuse of respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE in response to the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) surge. As a last resort, homemade masks […]
It’s not just the mask, it’s the humidity created inside the mask that helps protect against severe COVID-19, a recent study by National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers suggests. The use of cloth masks has been linked with decreased disease severity, which is sur- prising considering such masks aren’t good at filtering out the smallest […]
The stability of an isolate of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage in aerosols is similar to three earlier isolates
The stability in aerosols of four SARS-CoV-2 isolates, including one from lineage B.1.1.7, is similar when compared across multiple environmental conditions. These results suggest that transmissibility differences among SARS-CoV-2 lineages are likely not due to differences in aerosol stability.
Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
On December 11, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, administered as 2 doses separated by 21 days. Shortly after, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued an interim recommendation for its use. Following implementation of vaccination, reports of […]
Question What is the household secondary attack rate for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)? Findings In this meta-analysis of 54 studies with 77 758 participants, the estimated overall household secondary attack rate was 16.6%, higher than observed secondary attack rates for SARS CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Controlling for differences across studies, secondary attack rates were higher in households from symptomatic index cases […]
Protect Yourself • The SARS-CoV2 virus is much more likely to be spread as respiratory droplets than through contaminated objects and surfaces • Practice good hand hygiene • Wash hands preferably with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching your face, eyes, or respirator; use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol when unable […]
Equipment • Check instructions for proper cleaning procedures • Wear disposable clean gloves • If soiled, first clean surfaces with approved cleaner (soap and water, for example) • Diluted bleach or at least 70% isopropyl alcohol is appropriate for many non-porous surfaces – Dilute household bleach to about 2% (4 teaspoons per quart (4 cups) of tap water) – Ensure […]
Cleaning procedures: • Check labeled instructions for proper cleaning procedures • Wear disposable clean gloves • If soiled, first clean surfaces with approved cleaner (soap and water, for example) • Apply a disinfectant to kill the virus, the surface must stay wet for the entire time on the label, this may require up to 10 minutes for some products • […]
SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus that has a diameter of approximately 0.1 μm. It is transmitted by respiratory droplets and aerosols such that one of the most effective ways to prevent infection is to wear filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs). The commonly used FFRs are N95 respirators, devices that by design filter 95% or more of […]
As COVID-19 cases resulting from infection with SARS-CoV-2 variants accumulate in the US and around the world, one question looms large: How well do the COVID-19 vaccines developed so far protect against these novel coronavirus spinoffs?
6-month neurological and psychiatric outcomes in 236 379 survivors of COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study using electronic health records
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began on March 11, 2020, there has been concern that survivors might be at an increased risk of neurological disorders. This concern, initially based on findings from other coronaviruses, was followed rapidly by case series, emerging evidence of COVID-19 CNS involvement, and the identification of mechanisms by which this could occur. Similar concerns have been […]
A year into the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic there remains an urgent need to limit severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread and to curb the pandemic in the US through nonpharmaceutical interventions. Clear evidence supports the effectiveness of simple strategies in identifying risks and mitigating the spread of infection, with much of […]
Development of a Method to Determine the Fractional Deposition Efficiency of Full-Scale HVAC and HEPA Filter Cassettes for Nanoparticles ≥3.5 nm
Abstract: Novel methods have been developed to measure the fractional deposition efficiency for nanoparticles of full-scale HVAC and HEPA filter cassettes down to a particle size of 3.5 nm. The methods use a flame spray nanoparticle generator to produce NaCl test aerosols with narrow size distributions and very high concentrations. While the efficiency curves of […]
Chlorine dioxide is a yellow to reddish-yellow gas that can decompose rapidly in air. Because it is a hazardous gas, chlorine dioxide is always made at the location where it is used. Chlorine dioxide is used as a bleach at pulp mills, which make paper and paper products, and in public water-treatment facilities, to make […]
COVID-19: Does the infectious inoculum dose-response relationship contribute to understanding heterogeneity in disease severity and transmission dynamics?
The variation in the speed and intensity of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and severity of the resulting COVID-19 disease are still imperfectly understood. We postulate a dose-response relationship in COVID-19, and that “the dose of virus in the initial inoculum” is an important missing link in understanding several incompletely explained observations in COVID-19 as a factor in […]
The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread effects across the globe, and its causative agent, SARS-CoV-2, continues to spread. Effective interventions need to be developed to end this pandemic. Single and combination therapies with monoclonal antibodies have received emergency use authorization, and more treatments are under development. Furthermore, multiple vaccine constructs have shown promise, including two […]
The degree to which children and adolescents are infected by and transmit severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is unclear. The role of children and adolescents in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is dependent on susceptibility, symptoms, viral load, social contact patterns, and behavior.
The success of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination effort may be limited by the ability to equitably and expediently reach the general public in the final deployment phase. Prior experience has shown that significant cultural, economic, racial, and communication barriers prevent widespread participation in public health initiatives, such as COVID-19 testing and, now, vaccination. […]
Future perspectives of wastewater-based epidemiology: Monitoring infectious disease spread and resistance to the community level
Infectious diseases are acknowledged as one of the most critical threats to global public health today. Climate change, unprecedented population growth with accelerated rates of antimicrobial resistance, have resulted in both the emergence of novel pathogenic organisms and the re-emergence of infections that were once controlled. The consequences have led to an increased vulnerability to […]
Evaluating a commercially available in-duct bipolar ionization device for pollutant removal and potential byproduct formation.
We conducted a series of experiments to evaluate the gas and particle removal effectiveness and potential for byproduct formation resulting from the operation of a commercially available in-duct bipolar ionization device. Laboratory tests were conducted with the ionizer installed in a small air handler serving a large semi-furnished chamber. Chamber experiments were conducted under normal […]
National efforts to develop a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine at “warp speed” will likely yield a safe and effective vaccine by early 2021. However, this important milestone is only the first step in an equally important challenge: getting a majority of the US public vaccinated. In a September 2020 survey of 10 093 US […]
We present severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) real-time RT-PCR results of all respiratory and faecal samples from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China, throughout the course of their illness and obligated quarantine period. Real-time RT-PCR was used to detect COVID-19 following the recommended protocol […]
Are the quantity and quality of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) different among children, adolescents, and young adults?
From SARS and MERS to COVID-19: a brief summary and comparison of severe acute respiratory infections.
Within two decades, there have emerged three highly pathogenic and deadly human coronaviruses, namely SARS- CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. The economic burden and health threats caused by these coronaviruses are extremely dreadful and getting more serious as the increasing number of global infections and attributed deaths of SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV. Unfortunately, specific medical countermeasures for […]
The Sars-CoV-2 outbreak started initially in Wuhan and spread rapidly around the world. It was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020. As of the 12th of July 2020, there have been over 12,000,000 confirmed cases and 500,000 deaths, though the true number of cases is likely to be much higher due to […]
We appeal to the medical community and to the relevant national and international bodies to recognize the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19. There is significant potential for inhalation exposure to viruses in microscopic respiratory droplets (microdroplets) at short to medium distances (up to several meters, or room scale), and we are advocating for the use of preventive […]
Efforts to control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 rely on the virus’ ability to survive in the air and on surfaces. S&T is executing high-impact projects to help answer critical questions about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including: – How stable is the virus in different conditions? – How effective are different decontamination products on surfaces? – How can we […]
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has leveraged laboratory findings to develop a predictive model to estimate the natural decay of SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19) under a range of temperatures and relative humidity (RH). The model can be integrated into an Excel spreadsheet or web-based application to estimate the environmental persistence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus under certain […]
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has developed a predictive model based on laboratory data to estimate decay of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in airborne particles across a range of temperature, relative humidity, and sunlight levels (UV Index). The model has been integrated into a web-based application, which allows users to estimate the time needed […]
In order to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, effective disinfectants are required, among other complementary measures such as social distancing and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is executing laboratory studies to evaluate a panel of disinfectants (Table 1) for use against SARS-CoV-2. This […]
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has established the Probabilistic Analysis for National Threats Hazards and Risks (PANTHR) program to strengthen customer engagement within the homeland security enterprise by aligning chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) hazard awareness and characterization activities to provide timely, accurate, and defensible decision support tools […]
A human sneeze can eject droplets of fluid and potentially infectious organisms. The image sequence captures, in increments of 20 msec, the emission of a sneeze cloud produced by a healthy person.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is paying close attention to the evolving Coronavirus Infectious Disease (COVID-19) situation in order to protect our nation. DHS is working very closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other federal agencies, and public health officials to implement public health control measures related to travelers and […]
The science around the use of masks by the general public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we synthesize the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: 1) transmission characteristics of COVID-19, 2) filtering characteristics and […]
Small and medium (especially non-chain) hair and nail salons have been very challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic as they are viewed as “non-essential” by state governments. Many have been forced to lay off or furlough key employees, which may complicate re-opening as states start to relax shelter-in-place and stay-at-home restrictions.
Gyms and workout facilities have been very challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these businesses have been viewed as “non-essential” by state governments and are closed. Many have been forced to lay off or furlough key employees, which may complicate re-opening as states start to relax shelter-in-place and stay-at-home restrictions.
The restaurant industry has quickly adapted to stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders across the U.S. Many establishments have come up with unique solutions such as offering reduced menus, drive-thru or curbside pick-up, using apps and texts to manage orders, no contact delivery, combo or boxed meals that fare better in to-go containers, and even implementing robotics for food handling. The industry […]
The bar industry has been incredibly challenged by stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders across the United States. The majority of bars that derive over 50 percent of sales by alcohol have been forced to close and furlough or lay off employees. Most states are not allowing bars to reopen at the full operation as shelter-in-place restrictions are being relaxed. Some establishments have come […]
Real GDP plummeted 32.9 percent at an annualized seasonally-adjusted rate in the advance, or first estimate, for the second quarter of 2020. This was by far the biggest drop in the history of the series, going back to 1947. The release was in line with most economists’ forecasts of a 30 to 35 percent drop. […]
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting each of our lives and the institutions in which we work and socialize. It has changed the way we behave and how we interact with others. It has had a significant impact on public health. More than 221,400 individuals in the U.S. (and an estimated 1,134,900 worldwide) have died because of […]
SARS-CoV-2 virus, and other similar pathogens, may spread through various transmission routes, including direct or indirect contact with contaminated surfaces and exposure to respiratory droplets. While not initially considered, more data are becoming available that indicates that the potential for exposure from aerosolized particles must also be addressed. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease […]
Guidelines to Protect Workers Related to Coronavirus and Other Potential Infectious Materials in Plumbing and HVAC Systems
The purpose of this guide is to provide guidance to protect the health of workers performing work on plumbing and HVAC Systems, from Coronavieus and Other Potential Infectious Materials (OPIM).
Many parts of the world are reopening after COVID-19 shutdowns. Local circumstances may vary, but we all share the same core concern –how do we operate our businesses while reducing infection risks for staff, clients, and customers, and meeting local requirements?
Assessment of Fabric Masks as Alternatives to Standard Surgical Masks in Terms of Particle Filtration Efficiency
In response to the critical shortage of medical masks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, large portions of the population are mobilizing to produce cloth masks using locally-sourced fabrics. While the general population is being advised to wear masks to protect others from virus that may be spread from the wearer, the efficacy of these masks […]
With stay at home and shelter-in-place restrictions beginning to lift, small manufacturing sites, repair and maintenance shops, etc. are faced with difficult questions that must be addressed as they transition back to normal operations, such as: • How can we protect our employees, third parties, and customers from the disease? • How can we minimize the risk of disease transmission […]
Small lodging establishments (including hotels, inns, and bed and breakfast businesses) across the United States have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most, if not all, were deemed “non-essential” in the U.S. by state and federal governments, resulting in employers halting operations and closing workplaces. Currently, many states are in the process of trying […]
Companies across all industries and sectors have been affected to some extent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many were deemed “non-essential” in the United States (U.S.) by state and federal governments, resulting in employers halting operations and closing workplaces. The reopening of office workplaces should be conducted in a thorough manner accounting for multiple factors before […]
As industrial hygienists today, we are faced with a myriad of issues that have expanded our role. This includes new technologies, terrorism, emergency preparedness and response, and emerging infectious diseases such as SARS, plague, and influenza. Of particular concern to many governments, public health officials, and medical providers, is the possibility of a pandemic. A pandemic is a global outbreak […]
Small and medium (especially non-chain) retail stores have been very challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these businesses have been viewed as “non-essential” by state governments and have been forced to conduct sales online only. Some retail stores have been very creative with curbside drop-off and utilization of video tools (FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype) to provide customer service. Many have been […]
This publication may be distributed or transmitted in electronic or printed methods without permission from the publishers, the Restoration Industry Association (RIA), the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), provided such transmission or distribution of the document is in whole, without modification, and does not contain […]