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August 2021
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FDA revokes EUA for non-NIOSH-approved respirators

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 30 announced that it is revoking the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for non-NIOSH-approved disposable respirators (including N95s), effective July 6. The announcement also revokes EUAs for decontamination and bioburden reduction systems for disposable respirators, effective immediately. The FDA says the…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 1, 2021
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Use of Pandemic Escape Room to increase learner engagement in infection prevention education

Editor's Note Escape Rooms, which were conceived as a social activity, yielded themselves as a low-cost, high-impact and effective tool for healthcare education during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study from the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System finds. The Pandemic Escape Room ran every half hour for 4 days, providing 48…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 1, 2021
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COVID-19 hospitalization, mortality rates before, after reopening US economy

Editor's Note This study led by researchers at the department of economics, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, finds that state policies implemented in spring 2020 to protect hospital capacity and minimize deaths due to COVID-19 were associated with upward trends in hospitalizations and mortality after reopening. The researchers examined data collected…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 30, 2021
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Mental health of high school students during COVID-19 pandemic

Editor's Note This study from Austria finds a high prevalence of mental disorders in high school students 1 year after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Of 3,052 adolescents who participated in the study: 55% had clinically relevant depressive symptoms 47% had clinically relevant anxiety symptoms 22.8% had clinically relevant moderate insomnia…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 29, 2021
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Growing number of hospitals, healthcare systems mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for HCWs

Editor's Note The number of hospitals and healthcare systems mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for their healthcare workers (HCWs) is growing, the June 29 Becker’s Hospital Review reports. In chronological order, the organizations that have announced mandates as of June 29 are: Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, will require its workforce of…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 29, 2021
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CDC: More than half of public HCWs experienced mental health symptoms during COVID-19 pandemic

Editor's Note This survey of 26,174 public healthcare workers (HCWs) from March 29 to April 16, 2021, by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), finds that 53% had experienced at least one mental health condition in the previous 2 weeks. Prevalences of symptoms were: depression: 32%…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 28, 2021
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FDA: Class I recall of DeRoyal surgical procedure packs

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on June 25, identified the recall of DeRoyal Industries’ surgical procedure packs as Class I, the most serious. The recall was initiated because the packs contain 1% lidocaine that had been mislabeled as 0.5% bupivacaine. The procedure packs are used for cardiac…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 28, 2021
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Study: Surgical face masks protect against aerosols, plastic face shields provide no protection

Editor's Note Wearing a surgical face mask can provide similar protection against aerosols as wearing a respirator, but face shields provide little or no protection, finds this study, which will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases July 9-12. German researchers compared 32 types of…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 24, 2021
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Effect of mask use on COVID-19 positivity rates in HCWs

Editor's Note This study led by researchers with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Pasadena, found no association in COVID-19 positivity rates among healthcare workers (HCWs) wearing respirator masks vs medical masks when performing nonaerosolizing, routine patient care. Of 1,414 HCWs involved in the study: 595 (42.1%) had exposures to…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 24, 2021
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COVID-19 antibodies found in blood donated by Americans in December 2019

Editor's Note COVID-19 virus antibodies were detected in 106 specimens from American Red Cross blood donations in California, Oregon, and Washington, as early as December 13-16, 2019, finds this study by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Red Cross. Similarly, antibodies were identified in blood…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 23, 2021
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