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Nine leading scientific and health organizations have endorsed recommendations for federal and state agencies to create specific guidelines to help prevent aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
A Joint Consensus Statement summarizes what occupational health and safety professionals and scientists know about airborne SARS-CoV-2 transmission and outlines recommendations that call for related regulations, research and funding.
Studies show SARS-CoV-2 can remain viable in air for at least three hours. According to the statement, infectious particles are exhaled by contagious people while breathing, talking, singing, coughing and sneezing. Particle sizes vary widely, from 0.1 to > 100 µm. Some larger particles rapidly settle, while others evaporate to smaller droplet nuclei. Particles less than 10 µm can be distributed by diffusion and air currents.
The statement calls on the:
As envisioned, federal funding would be used to support:
The statement proposes that funding priority be directed toward providing frontline workers with respiratory protection options such as elastomeric and powered air-purifying respirators. Expanded options would help reduce demand for filtering facepiece respirators needed by health care personnel and other essential workers whose jobs involve prolonged or close contact with co-workers and the public.
The nine co-sponsoring organizations of the consensus statement are:
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