On May 5th, the World Health Organization announced that the COVID-19 global health emergency was over. In addition, the coronavirus public health emergency in the United States expired on May 11. While an increase in COVID case numbers remains a cause for concern, increased population immunity from vaccination and infection means that a smaller share… Read more »

Influenza and RSV Prevention: Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Don’t let your guard down quite yet. Not only is COVID still a threat to your health, cases of influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) are hospitalizing people at abnormally high rates. Those three — COVID, influenza, and RSV — are often collectively termed a “tripledemic.” We’ve written extensively about COVID in previous articles. Here,… Read more »

Fit Testing Respirators

Not only is fit testing required by OSHA, but — when done well — it provides assurance to workers that the employer is properly protecting their health in a potentially hazardous environment. For example, the COVID pandemic created an unprecedented need for healthcare staff to wear respirators during patient care. Entering a room where you… Read more »

Wildfire Smoke Regulations and the COVID Epidemic

One Cal/OSHA COVID-19 regulation (3205) requires employers to maximize outside air ventilation to prevent the spread of the virus. Another Cal/OSHA mandate (5141.1) requires minimum exposure to outside air. Which rule should a facilities manager follow? How can you protect employees from the potentially harmful effects of smoke from wildfire, continue to combat COVID, and… Read more »

Home (Alone?) for the Holidays – Tips for Safer Family Gatherings this Holiday Season – FACS COVID-19 Update #18

While many of us endured the disappointment of significantly limited gatherings over Thanksgiving, the case rates are climbing. We are heading into the holidays where friends and family get-togethers are even more important and are often for extended periods of time. Thanksgiving dinners are usually limited to a few hours together, while Christmas gatherings could… Read more »

When Disasters Collide – FACS COVID-19 Update #17

While in the continued grip of a global pandemic and the need for the public to follow significant preventative measures, the US is faced with the onset of other natural disasters. On the West Coast and along the Continental Divide there are a rash of wildfires that have erupted this month, and on the East… Read more »

Getting a Handle on COVID-19 Case Response – FACS Update #16

As more businesses reopen and the number of cases of COVID-19 climb in the community, organizations are having to navigate the challenges, twists and turns of managing a proper response to a known or suspected case. In this discussion we talk about the fundamentals of case response in non-healthcare settings and some of the lessons… Read more »

Why Six Feet and How Close is Too Close? – FACS Update #14

Physical distancing, also commonly referred to as “social distancing,” is defined as “keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home.” To practice physical distancing, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying at least six feet apart from other people. The World Health Organization recommends at least one meter (approximately… Read more »

To Modify or Not to Modify, that is the Question – Building Ventilation Systems and COVID-19 – FACS Update #12

The main transmission routes for SARS-CoV-2 are direct contact or respiratory droplets (aerosols) during close contact (within  six feet for 15 minutes) with an infected person.  However, according to an early release CDC report due out this July, whether SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by aerosols remains controversial. The following discussion will try to shed some… Read more »

COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace: What You Should Know (And Do): FACS Update #10

This week’s COVID-19 Response Update is a featured piece written by our medical consulting partner, Cogency. For more information on medical testing in the workplace to ensure a safe return-to-work program, contact the Cogency team today. Diagnostic and surveillance testing for COVID-19 provide important information for physicians and public health professionals. This includes guiding recommendations… Read more »

Surface Disinfection in the Age of COVID-19: The Good, the Bad and the U…(Underinformed): FACS Update #9

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is thought to spread mainly through direct transmission from person-to-person. However, we are still learning about how it is spread and there are concerns of indirect transmission (person-to-surface-to-person). Because of the anticipated potential for indirect transmission, cleaning and disinfection to reduce risks related to COVID-19 (the illness caused by… Read more »

COVID-19: Leaving the Shelter and Getting Back to Business Safely: FACS Update #7

As we begin looking to lift shelter in place restrictions, organizations are confronted with figuring out how to adjust to the “new normal” of operating safely in the presence of COVID-19. This starts with recognizing the purpose behind the effort: Protect People. Help prevent employees, customers, and other stakeholders from contracting COVID-19, and in doing… Read more »

Maintaining Asbestos & Lead Certifications during COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place” Restrictions

Although the shelter-in-place order is still in effect in the state of California, Cal-OSHA & CDPH will not be extending lead and asbestos certification deadlines. Refresher trainings and renewal applications will still need to be completed before your certifications expire in order to maintain your status. The challenge: how do you complete training with shelter-in-place restrictions? The… Read more »

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: FACS Update #5

What should employers and building owners/managers be doing to protect employees and other stakeholders from COVID-19? The first thing to do is to be aware of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance. The CDC has specific guidance for businesses and retirement/independent living properties, and other facilities. Secondly, you want to have a written… Read more »

Validating Cleaning Efficacy for Removal of SARS-CoV-2: FACS Update #4

The number of COVID-19 cases in America continues to rise. So have questions regarding keeping families, co-workers and the general public safe. Public health organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide recommendations for cleaning and disinfection related to the virus responsible for COVID-19 infections, SARS-CoV-2. But… Read more »

Key Considerations for Your COVID-19 Safety Plan: FACS Update #2

The COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing, and even with the current emergency public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus, it is expected to be of concern for an extended period of time. Organizations must prepare for the near-term impacts, but also for a “new normal” of how to include protecting their… Read more »

COVID-19 Response: FACS Update

We are providing this communication to inform FACS clients of what we are doing as a company to address the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It is our plan to provide updates as needed, and at least weekly, during this event. COVID-19 FACS Expert Team We have formed a FACS expert… Read more »