Surveys across the country show there’s still a shortage of personal protective equipment at many health care facilities.
The CDC guidance posted Friday would have put pressure on some hospitals to bolster their protective measures, something they have reportedly resisted. It said the virus can spread when a person sings, talks or breathes.
“These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection,” the site said. “This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
The University of Nebraska Medical Center has been taking so-called airborne precautions from the start. There, Dr. James Lawler, a physician and director of the Global Center for Health Security at the university, said his colleagues documented that the virus can drift in the air and live on surfaces at an extensive distance from patients.
He said the hospital tests all admitted patients for the virus and keeps COVID-19 patients apart from the general population. He said they pay close attention to cleaning shared spaces and monitoring airflow within the restricted-access unit. Workers also had N95 respirators or PAPRS, which are fitted hoods with filtered air pumped in.
All of it has added up to a “very low” rate of health care worker infections.