There is no federal emergency temporary standard for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposures, and guidance from federal and state officials seems to change daily. There are a lot of decisions to make and a lot of boxes to check, with incomplete information.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) don’t have definitive answers to give. Researchers in the United States and elsewhere continue to learn new information every day about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the respiratory illness it causes.
On July 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that airborne transmission of the disease in indoor spaces, especially in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces, may be possible. Airborne transmission in indoor spaces may have occurred in fitness classes and restaurants, as well as during a choir practice. However, WHO and other public health officials simply haven’t done enough research to conclude SAR-CoV-2 is “airborne.”
On July 14, CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, called for the universal use of cloth face coverings in an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The CDC also reported findings of an epidemiological investigation in Springfield, Missouri: 139 clients saw two hairstylists with confirmed cases of COVID-19; clients and hairstylists all wore face masks, and no new cases were reported among the clients. The 67 clients tested for COVID-19 all tested negative.
All workers returning to the workplace should wear cloth face coverings to reduce disease transmission.
The CDC and OSHA have issued guidance on preparing workplaces for reopening and continue to update their guidance as more becomes known about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Officials with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) have released guidance for industries ranging from construction, grocery and retail, and manufacturing to mortuaries and funeral homes, offices, and shopping centers and malls.
Professional safety organizations like the AIHA (formerly the American Industrial Hygiene Association), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), and the National Safety Council (NSC) have compiled resources, too.Source: EHS Dailyadvisor