The ANSI Federation and standardization community are stepping up with guidance, resources, and initiatives to support public health and safety and the nation's recovery. Suggestions for news items may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion.
CDC Updates Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning
In recognition of the importance of early childhood education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidelines to support safe in-person operation of K-12 schools and early childcare and education (ECE) programs. The guidelines highlight the importance of staying up-to-date on vaccinations and proper hand-washing etiquette. The guidelines also offer additional resources on safely sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces and improving classroom ventilation.
Masking is also recommended universally, but the CDC recognizes that masking is not always possible. It notes, “Because mask use is not recommended for those younger than 2 years old and may be difficult for very young children or for some children with disabilities who cannot safely wear a mask, ECE programs and K-12 schools may need to consider other prevention strategies—such as and avoiding crowding—when the COVID-19 Community Level is high.”
Access the CDC’s webpage for more information.
ADA Offers Guidance on Indoor Masking in Dental Practices
Following the February 25 update to the CDC’s masking guidelines, the American Dental Association (ADA) released a new resource to help dental practices make informed decisions about masking. The guidance clarifies the CDC’s masking guidance and provides recommendations on how to communicate masking practices to patients.
Access the ADA’s indoor masking landing page for more information.
Mayo Clinic Podcast Underscores the Importance of Continued Masking
On June 17, as part of their Q&A Podcast, the Mayo Clinic released an episode with a COVID-19 update reminding listeners of the important of continued masking, even if you are fully vaccinated. COVID infections continue to rise due to more highly contagious variants.
Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert, explains, “This is so hyper-contagious that, regardless of having had three or four doses of vaccine or of having previous COVID-19, you still run an appreciable chance of getting COVID. The risk in that case is not of death or hospitalization, but of the complications and long-haul symptoms of COVID-19. And that’s what we’re trying to prevent in people.”
The episode also covers the latest infectious disease making its rounds through the U.S. population: monkeypox. Access the episode in the Q&A Podcast archives.
NIST and DHS Collaborate to Determine Best UV Wavelength for Disinfection
To determine best practices in using UV light to disinfect surfaces, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security laboratory, teamed up to research the susceptibility of COVID-19 at different UV wavelengths and published their findings in Applied Optics.
The research team simulated different environments that COVID might be found in, testing the virus in water and in simulated human saliva. This allowed them to see how the virus might survive coming from a cough or a sneeze and if UV is more or less effective in those simulated circumstances. While the virus was more protected in the simulated human saliva, they found that COVID-19 is not any less susceptible to UV light than other common viruses.
More information about the research methods and findings can be found in NIST’s news release.