According to the CDC, yes. There is very little difference between who conducts a nasal swab. The naso-pharyngeal specimens that were being collected earlier have slightly higher sensitivity but are uncomfortable, more risky for the collector and don’t have appreciably better findings. When someone collects a specimen at home there is some more risk that they mess something up, so it’s important to be sure you’re following instructions carefully when collecting, packaging, and sending off the specimen.
HEPA filters do reduce airborne pathogens. They are 99.97% efficient at filtering out naturally occurring viral particles down to 0.3 microns. It‘s critically important that they are of the highest quality and sized right for the space. When selecting a unit, you'll need to know how many cubic feet of air are enclosed in the area to be cleaned. Many portable HEPA units list what's called a clean air delivery rate. Both NIOSH and the CDC have excellent resources on this subject.
Check out the EPA’s guidelines here, or the CDC’s guidance on choosing filtration systems here.
Short answer: Yes. The plexiglass needs to be installed at the proper height but does provide an effective droplet barrier. However, there is still strong evidence that the virus is aerosolized, so it’s still important for employees and guests to wear masks as much as possible, and for you to have the best ventilation and air filtering you can get.
It is a very, very common symptom of COVID-19. Though the data differ based on how it’s measured, one study in Spain with over 800 COVID patients found that over half (about 53%) reported loss of taste and smell, and even more interesting, that for about one in five of them, it was the first symptom they experienced. They also found that it’s a more common symptom for younger people and less severe cases where people don’t need to be hospitalized. So, if you have a new loss of taste or smell, you should definitely take it seriously.
There is also a new study out of Egypt that shows that early treatment with corticosteroids may help improve loss of taste and smell. Although there are some stories of loss of taste and smell lasting 6 months or longer, only 7% have this symptom longer than 60 days.
We told the employee the following: “Please confirm in writing that your survey and first response were not truthful and that you do not and have not had ANY shortness of breath, whatsoever. Then we will connect with your manager and see if they are comfortable with you working given your original statements.” This may be a violation of your illness policy or other HR policies and may need some input from your team.
This is becoming more common as people start to understand the systems you (and we) have put into place, including what gets an exclusion vs. what doesn’t.
We learned a lot from this article about just how much testing accuracy changes based on symptoms, when the test was collected, and more.
Join us for a free webinar on a COVID Vaccine.
We'll be discussing everything employers need to know, and answering your questions live.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 4th