Updated 7:00 a.m. (CT) January 27, 2021
There are now 94,124,612 reported cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, worldwide according to the World Health Organization. 23,839,868 total cases were reported in the United States since January 21, 2020 according to the Center for Disease Control. This includes 185,949 new U.S. cases in the past 7 days. The National Safety Education Center is following this situation to provide up-to-date, helpful information for our members, our instructors, and the public.
We reached the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and many of us are experiencing pandemic fatigue. What is pandemic fatigue, and what can we do about it? As the coronavirus pandemic has stretched on and on, disrupting our daily lives, many people grow tired of following safety guidelines. We long for life to return to normal, and many of us feel exhausted by loneliness and the constant watchfulness we must practice to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. What can we do? Read more.
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
New OSHA answers the question, “Will an N95 respirator protect the wearer from the virus that causes COVID-19?” In short, the answer is yes. Read more here.
The Department of Labor provides an updated set of answers to frequently asked questions related to the coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic. Read it here. The page addresses topics such as:
OSHA recently issued guidelines for several common scenarios where individuals may be exposed to the virus at home or at work. Summarized in pdf form, these guidelines may be easily distributed or printed and posted in common areas.
Should your business require customers and employees to wear cloth face masks? Requirements vary by state with some states requiring masks and others recommending them. Find information about your state’s requirements
The Department of Labor recently released an OSHA publication to provide guidance for employers and employees on returning to work. The document covers topics such as:
-Planning for Reopening
-Applicable OSHA Standards and Required Protections in the Workplace
-Employer Frequently Asked Questions
-OSHA Assistance, Services, and Programs
-How to Contact OSHA
Businesses must consider worker safety and economic realities as they decide when and how to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. According to an NPR interview with two economists, Teresa Ghilarducci and James Broughel, workers in the United States have filed over 30 million jobless claims in the last six weeks. As employers struggle with strategic business decisions, they must weigh the benefits and risks of reopening.
How can business owners know when to reopen? Economist Ghilarducci says, “Among professional economists, the majority opinion is to follow the epidemiologists. All of our models about when it would make sense to restart the economy gradually are following the epidemiologists' curves about when it could be flattened. And that's because we know going back to work too early and in the wrong places could cause a second wave and could cause costs to workers, the productive part of the economy. ” Read NPR’s interview about balancing public safety and reopening economies and learn more about factors that affect reopening your business.
Businesses must consider worker safety and economic realities as they decide when and how to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Do you need to know how to create a reopening plan for your business? If you own or manage a business shut down during the Coronavirus pandemic, preparing to reopen safely for all your employees is a concerning task.
Across the country, states are easing restrictions, even as new cases of COVID-19 infection still occur daily. Taking necessary precautions to protect your workers will mitigate company and employee risk as people return and continue to work.
Create a reopening plan to help guide your decisions, reduce your stress, increase cooperation, and maximize effectiveness in your workplace. Visit this NSEC blog post for detailed guidelines to help you get started: How To Create a Reopening Plan For Your Business.
According to the Center for Disease Control website the CDC now recommends that individuals wear cloth face masks in public places such as grocery stores and pharmacies where social distancing is difficult. For instructions on how to make several types of cloth face coverings, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
According to an article in the New York Times, some materials are better than others for DIY masks. Experts tested different materials to determine effectiveness, and the results were summarized in the article What’s the Best Material for a Mask? by Tara Parker-Pope. The National Safety Education Center has created an infographic based on this information. Read the article: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-DIY-face-mask-ppe.html
The federal government is providing general guidance for the COVID-19 response. States and municipalities are adding their own responses based on local needs. To find out your state’s additional responses, visit these sites:
Learn more about the coronavirus with these free webinars:
NSEC Safety Instructor John Newquist teaches about best practices to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, recognition of symptoms and current treatments, OSHA recordkeeping for employers and managers, and different types of masks and respirators. Watch Here
NSEC Safety Instructor John Newquist teaches tactical responses employers and managers can use to prevent infection. Topics include description of COVID-19 and comparison to influenza, disinfection procedures, recognizing symptoms, and recommendations for people who are sick. Watch Here