Healthcare workers may be vigilant with personal protective equipment around COVID-19 patients, but inadvertently expose themselves to colleagues when they take breaks, socialize, and eat. Part of the problem is healthcare workers are experiencing PPE fatigue and may be tempted to removed gear for brief respites when possible.
With COVID-19 surging nationally, there are increasing calls for a national mask mandate for the public. There appears to be sufficient evidence to support such a measure as we enter a winter of considerable discontent.
There are encouraging signs that masking and other measures taken to prevent COVID-19 are diminishing seasonal influenza globally. Flu virus circulation declined when COVID-19 measures were taken in the Northern Hemisphere, with the same epidemiology observed as the flu season began later below the equator, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
The chronic problem with adequate stocks of personal protective equipment for nurses continues as the coronavirus pandemic heads into the dreaded fall and winter months. Many nurses feel unsafe because of the shortages — and the continued reprocessing and reuse of N95 respirators, which are designed for single use only — according to the American Nurses Association.
Violence has been an ongoing threat to healthcare workers, but it is manifesting again as social tensions rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This became evident during the politicization of wearing face masks and threats against public health officials trying to enforce their use or mandate other pandemic control methods.
Infection preventionists are preparing for an unknown but widely predicted possibility this fall and winter: a large second wave of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) hitting hospitals amid the 2020-2021 influenza season.