COVID-19 Resources

Due to the high number of inquiries received and the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG is offering COVID-19 Retainer Packages to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.

Request a quote below or call us: 1-800-401-2239

For the food industry

  • Regular Updates

  • Advice for Food Industry

  • What can you (we) all do?

 
Key Points

Updated: July 17, 2020

Key Points

ICYMI (Mask Week + More)

  • This week, the global count of COVID-19 cases has risen above 13 million; global deaths have exceeded 590,000.

  • In Wednesday’s Recommendations for Industry, we provide an update on the Weekly Risk Matrix to see what has changed over the past week. Read more here.

  • As many states are requiring mask usage (and many individuals may or may not comply on a personal level), for fear of sounding like a broken record, we revisited the basics of mask usage in last Friday’s Recommendations for Industry.

  • Last Friday, we discussed some “Truths of Masks” from O2/CO2 values, asymptomatic spread, and protective measures. Read more here.

  • On Monday, we discussed some of the questions we have received about masks, including “Should I wear a mask when I’m alone in the car?” to  “Employees wear masks at work, but when they’re at parties or get-togethers, they remove their masks and stand very close to one another; why is that?” Read more here.

  • Behavior change is difficult. Individuals may not wear masks (or socially distance) in certain situations due to optimism bias. Optimism bias occurs when someone believes that negative things are less likely to happen to them; people believe that positive events are more likely to happen and underestimate the probability of negative/adverse events happening to them (Sharot, 2011). We see optimism bias relative to food safety (e.g., people don’t believe they are likely to acquire foodborne illness from their own food preparations) and also with COVID-19 (e.g., people think they're unlikely to become ill because they may not have preconditions or may not be in a specific age range). Optimism bias can be dangerous.  

  • Up until Wednesday (July 15), COVID-19 data from hospitals were reported to the CDC. The White House now mandates that all COVID-19 data be sent directly to the Department of Health and Human Services, instead of the CDC. Read more here or here.

  • The new MMRW discusses the “Absence of Apparent Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Two Stylists After Exposure at a Hair Salon with a Universal Face Covering Policy — Springfield, Missouri, May 2020”. We discuss this further today.

  • A recent study published in The Lancet of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain has found that “the majority of the Spanish population is seronegative to SARS-CoV-2 infection, even in hotspot areas. Most PCR-confirmed cases have detectable antibodies, but a substantial proportion of people with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 did not have a PCR test. Additionally, at least a third of infections determined by serology were asymptomatic. These results emphasize the need for maintaining public health measures to avoid a new epidemic wave.” Read the paper here.

  • There has been an increase in what is known as “COVID parties” where individuals gather at a party at which at least one individual attending has been tested/confirmed with COVID to see if anyone gets sick and/or to test if the virus really exists. There have been cases in which individuals (who had not believed in the severity of COVID-19) have fallen ill and died after attending a “COVID party.”.

  • The New York Times has put together a full timeline of the COVID-19 epidemic. Read more here.

  • Please be wary of the hand sanitizing products you are buying. There is an increasing number of illegal hand sanitizer products that, instead of containing ethanol, are being adultered with methanol (or wood alcohol). Refer to FDA’s list of recalled brands/products that contain methanol. AVOID THESE PRODUCTS!  Methanol is a toxic compound when absorbed through the skin and can be life-threatening if ingested. It is not supposed to be in hand sanitizers.

 
Recommendations for Industry

An Analysis of CDC’s MMWR Absence of Apparent Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Two Stylists After Exposure at a Hair Salon with a Universal Face Covering Policy — Springfield, Missouri, May 2020.

 

As localities and businesses increasingly require that all wear masks, we are seeing more and more evidence, albeit anedoctal, that masks are the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19. One such case is that of hair stylist shop, as posted by CDC.

 

The situation: 139 clients of the shop were exposed to two symptomatic hair stylists with confirmed COVID-19. Both the stylists and the clients wore face masks.

 

The results: No symptomatic secondary cases were reported, and among 67 clients tested for SARS-CoV-2, all test results were negative. Adherence to the community’s and company’s face-covering policy likely mitigated the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

 

The lesson: Consistent and correct use of cloth face coverings help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, and are critical particularly as stay-at-home orders are lifted, and professional and social interactions in the community present more opportunities for the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

TAG’s recommendation: Continue requiring masks (along with social distancing, enhanced cleaning, and wellness checks) in your establishments, and highly encourage your employees to wear masks when in public spaces – even if it is not mandatory in their locality.

 
 

Keep up to date with COVID-19:

Please send us any questions, comments, and/or concerns! We are happy to talk with you. 

 

OR call us at 1-800-401-2239

Learn how TAG can help your company ensure food safety and brand protection.

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