The C.D.C. needs to set air guidelines now for workplaces, scientists say.
Scientists have urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rapidly set standards to limit aerial transmissions of coronaviruses in high-risk settings such as meatpacking plants and prisons.
After nearly a year of research, there was a push that the virus could spread through small droplets called aerosols that could remain indoors and breathe in stagnant air.
Action on air standards is still urgently needed as vaccination efforts begin to slow, more infectious virus variants are moving into the United States, and Kovid-19 infection and death rates remain high despite new cases declining The scientists said in a letter to Biden administration officials.
CDC released new Guidelines on Friday to reopen schools, But the guidelines only cited better ventilation as a precaution against viral spread. The World Health Organization was slow to accept that the virus could air in crowded indoor spaces, only after accepting that conclusion in July 239 experts publicly called On the organization to do this.
The 13 experts who have written the letter – including many who advised Mr. Biden during the transition – have blunted the risk in a variety of workplaces by requiring the administration to combine mask-wearing and environmental measures, including better ventilation Urged. They want the CDC to recommend N95 breathers to use high-quality masks to protect workers at high risk of infection, many of whom are people of color, the area of the population most affected by the epidemic. The United States of America has happened.
Currently, health care workers are mostly dependent on surgical masks, which are not as effective against aerosol transmission of the virus as are N95 masks.
Mr. Biden has directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which sets workplace requirements Issue of Emergency Temporary Standards for Kovid-19With respect to ventilation and masks until 15 March.
David Michaels, an epidemiologist at George Washington University, said OSHA would only apply the standards that are supported by the CDC’s guidance.
(Dr. Michaels led OSHA during the Obama administration; the agency has no permanent leader since he left.)
“Unless the CDC makes some changes, OSHA will have difficulty changing the recommendations, as must be consistent with the government’s understanding,” Dr. Michaels said. “And the CDC has always been seen as the lead agency for infectious disease.”