Good morning all
With the high prevalence of asymptomatic Covid positive patients and the length of time patients may be shedding virus before testing positive is there any evidence or support for increased universal precautions in health care facilities - routine prophylactic use of surgical masks and gloves for all health care workers and masks (surgical vs cloth) for all patients?
If universal precautions are increased in facilities - in view of the shortage of PPE, is a reusable visor preferable to a surgical facemask for healthcare workers caring for non PUI or Covid positive patients? [*] Does a visor provide adequate protection without a mask or would both be required?
Is there any research comparing the use of visors compared to cloth facemasks for universal community use? In the community currently there is very poor compliance with universal effective use of a cloth facemasks - no standardised quality in design/manufacture, incorrect wearing-below the nose or on the neck, constant touching, poor washing etc. Could a visor be an equally safe but easier to use intervention?
This is also an important question as schools are considering reopening and masks would be difficult for the teacher in a classroom setting where students may struggle to hear.
Ruth Davidge RN RM RPN, Cert. Neon Intensive Care, fANSA
KZN Neonatal Coordinator
HIFA profile: Ruth Davidge is Neonatal Coordinator at PMB Metro, Hospitals Complex Western, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. She is President of the Neonatal Nurses Association of Southern Africa, NNASA. She is a Registered Nurse and on the board of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses, COINN. ruth.davidge AT kznhealth.gov.za www.nnasa.org.za www.nnasa.org.za She is a CHIFA Country Representative for South Africa http://www.hifa.org/support/members/ruth