Due to the high number of inquiries being received and the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG will be offering a limited number of COVID-19 Support Plans to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.
Request support below or call us at: 1-800-401-2239.
As discussed previously, the number of non-essential travel bans enacted by national and international companies are increasing. This recommendation will likely continue, and we will likely see more non-essential travel bans in the coming week(s). We recommend corporate entities begin to consider how such implementations may disrupt your service.
We highly encourage utilizing technologies that can allow for distance meetings (via online) or other forms of communications.
Internationally recognized health organizations do not recommend the usage of masks for healthy individuals.
Proper washing of one’s hands is THE most important preventative control measure!
Recommendations for the Food Industry
Do Masks Protect You Against Coronavirus?
It is a natural instinct to expect that putting on a mask will protect one from illness, however CDC and WHO are strongly recommending that those who are healthy and not showing symptoms not wear (or buy) masks as protection again Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are two primary reasons for this:
Most masks do nothing except provide a false sense of security for the wearer which may manifest as a decreased need to wash one’s hands, thus increasing susceptibility.
The few types that do provide protection should be saved for healthcare workers.
To explain further, only the N95 FFR (filtering facepiece respirator) and FFP2 or FFP3 (filtering facepiece) have the protection needed to protect from influenza viruses. These masks are capable of filtering out at least 94% of all types of very small particles, including bacteria and viruses, and are tightly fitted with very low allowable leakage. To be effective, however, these masks must be correctly used, including professional fit to each person. Additionally, because there are limited quantities of these masks, they should be saved for healthcare workers.
General face masks are not effective because they do not filter small particles and do not form a tight seal against the face. This is true of even surgical masks for which the primary purpose is not self-protection from disease. Rather, as explained by OSHA, it is just the opposite, as they are worn to prevent contamination to a patient by surgeons and healthcare providers, and by those who are ill to limit their spread of the infection. CDC has created a great infographic explaining the difference between, and recommended uses for, respirators and surgical masks, available at “Understanding the Difference.”
It is important to note, however, that some cultures wear masks in public on a routine basis, and some food processing facilities require masks as part of the normal PPE. Thus these wearers are not included in the recommendations to avoid masks.
But for most, it can be more harmful to wear a general or surgical face mask because it can instill a false sense of protection when around those who may be ill. Additionally, as masks become less available, a false sense of danger may be felt by those who don’t have them.
Because respiratory viruses are most commonly spread from person to person through close contact, CDC instead recommends everyday preventive actions, including the regular and proper washing of hands, avoiding people who are sick, and avoiding touching your eyes or nose. To limit the spread of the virus, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and stay home when sick – especially avoiding crowded public places and hospitals.
It also has been shown that the virus can live on a surface for up to nine days, however, there is a very different risk between contracting the virus from an ill-person and from a contaminated surface. The ill person can amplify and project the virus through sneezing and coughing; but being infected by a surface virus will only occur if the person touches the surface by hand than puts their hand to their nose, mouth, or eyes. Thus, the risk of infection from a surface is very low compared to the high risk of infection from contact with a sick person. Most importantly, washing one’s hands after contacting surfaces, etc., not only significantly reduces the risk of spread; but, is the most important preventive control.
From the CDC: Understanding the difference: surgical mask and N95 respirator (Source Link)
Have further questions, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.
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Request TAG's COVID-19 Support Retainerfor your business. Request support below or contact us at 1-800-401-2339.
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TAG is focused on staying abreast – and understanding the impact – of the latest regulations, news, technological advancements and trends to best serve our clients. We are dedicated to giving back to the industry, and regularly participate on association boards, as speakers and panelists at industry events and more.
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