UPDATES ON COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2?

As of May 13th, 2021, there are more than 32 Million cases in the US with over 580K dead. The death rate seems to be steady between 1.75 to 2.00% for the US for the past several months. Use this link for the most up to date information on statistics. CDC Tracker

More Statistics include: Chance of Hospitalization from COVID19 3.05% / Chance of being on a vent 0.48% / Death Rate of Ages 65+ is 11% / Ages 50-64 is 1.28% / Ages 18-49 is 0.54% / Ages 0-17 0.03%

There are several strains in the US and about a dozen mutations to the virus. The most notable mutations include binding to human cells harder and evading anti-bodies. As of May 2021, India has a version of the virus with 3 strong mutations allowing it to infect those who are already vaccinated, spread faster, and have more severe symptoms, however the death rate is only 1.09%.

As of May 13th, 2021, over 159 Million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide with over 3M Deaths. The death rate seems to be steady between 2.20 to 2.28% worldwide, however Mexico has a 9% death rate.

 

CURRENT U.S. SITUATION

CLICK HERE FOR CDC WEBSITE OF US CASES

COVID-19 updates for the US are best tracked through this link CDC Tracker.  Supply chains have been holding steady for several months now.

As of October 22nd, 2020, the FDA has approved a new treatment called Veklury. Click here for more information. It has been approved to be used in adults and children 12 and older who weigh 88 lbs or more. Veklury was approved by the FDA’s Fast Track system but is improving recovery rates for patients. Here is a link to a list of companies working on all types of treatments and vaccines. More Treatment/Vaccine Info

As of January 2021, Dr. Pierre Kory, a well renowned doctor from the FLCCC (Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (www.flccc.net), is testing and administering Ivermectin and having great success in preventing the spread of COVID and treating patients with COVID. When treated early on, the death rate is nearly non-existent. When administered in a home where 1 person is infected and everyone in the home takes Ivermectin, those who were negative, stayed negative. We are hopeful the NIH will start to take another look at Ivermectin since the drug is inexpensive and has been on the market since the 1970s. Their last look was in August 2020, a lifetime ago for this disease. Repurposing drugs already known to be safe is our biggest hope for treatment. Watch Video

As of January 2021, vaccines are currently being distributed to front line workers and others who qualify based on state requirements. There have been reports of allergic reactions and successful injections. More vaccines are coming on the market in the months to come.

As of March 2021, some states have removed all mask mandates and are returning to normal. Many states have removed their travel restrictions or lessened the restriction. Many schools on the east coast are reopening to some degree.

As of March 29th, 2021, 143 Million people have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine and 53 Million are fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, the virus has mutated multiple times since and it is possible the vaccine is not as effective against newer strains.

As of April 14th, 2021, Johnson and Johnson has paused distribution of their vaccine due to a higher rate of death and severe reactions, most notably blood clotting.

As of April 23rd, 2021, CDC and FDA have recommended that use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, effective April 23, 2021. However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen.

As of May 2021, FDA has approved some vaccines for kids 12-17yrs old. There are minimal reports of adverse reactions like clotting and death. There are also several medications in trial for use to effectively treat COVID. Hopefully, more medications will be approved soon.

HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF AND MY FACILITY?

Social distancing, wearing a mask and/or gloves, sanitizing/disinfecting regularly, and doing as much from your home as possible are the best ways to keep personally safe, as well as limiting leaving your home. What about your facility, when it opens? Below is some helpful information along with our complete COVID Supply Catalog. We are always making changes to the catalog as more items become available. Please reach out to us if you are looking for something you don’t see.

 

The COVID-19 virus is generally transmitted through respiratory droplets. These can linger in the air for up to 3 hours or land on surfaces and can live for up to 9 days under ideal conditions.  It is more contagious than the flu and less contagious then measles.  Due to increased cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing, the flu season has been extremely mild to near non-existent.

With that being said, it is actually more important to treat the air via HEPA filtration in the HVAC (with frequent filter changes). You can be most effective by the use of HEPA Air Scrubbers scattered around a facility in conjunction with equipment designed to eradicate the disease in the air or on surfaces called Hydroxyl Generators.  This is the 1-2 punch for eliminating COVID-19 or any future mutations of coronavirus, which we are starting to see already only 12 months into this new virus.

At bare minimum, the nurses’/doctor’s offices, hospitals, long term care facilities, schools and the like must be given high priority.  Ideally there should be secondary rooms designed for anyone suspected of having flu and/or coronavirus like symptoms – cough, fever, nasal discharge, and aches/pains – to keep the spread down to a minimum.  Once a person is known to have symptoms, everyone direct contact with that person has been exposed and is likely to contract the virus.  In these areas, having an Air Scrubber (approx. $1k) and a Hydroxyl Generator (approx.. $2k) should be a priority in all the facilities mentioned above.

Air Scrubbers are what you see scattered around hospitals, facilities battling mold, and anywhere you need to treat the air.  They process a high volume of air through HEPA filters.  The advantages of these units is it traps micro-organisms in HEPA filters.  If you spray Bio-Protect on the filter, you can even kill germs passing through the filter instead of just trapping them. It is loud for a space where people need to talk, but we are in uncharted territory so finding a way to implement these 24/7 will be important.

Hydroxyl Generators – “Odorox” (now Pyure Technology) – (Odorox Information) are machines taking ambient moisture particles and turning them into germ killing soldiers as it is drawn across a UV bulb.   These particles are harmless to humans, but deadly to viruses, bacteria, mold, VOC’s, and odors.  There are many uses for these machines including but not limited to: wrestling mats, locker rooms, fitness areas, doctor/nurse offices, long term care facilities, meat packing plants, and much more.  It can also neutralize VOC’s from new carpeting, paints, floor coatings, and other building material gases.  These are also too loud for areas where people need to talk, but can be put on timers to treat areas when unoccupied.  Rutgers, Montclair State University, as well as numerous Board of Educations in NJ, including Brick, have implemented this technology successfully with both portable and mounted units.

When it comes to treating the surfaces and touch points throughout a facility, we first must recognize any area treated can be contaminated either from the respiratory droplets lingering in the air or by a person entering an area even minutes after being cleaned/disinfected.

From a day to day standpoint, we must clean and disinfect and protect long term.  Notice this is a 3 Step Process as dirt prevents disinfectants from performing and biofilm layers left undisturbed can be resistant to disinfectants. Regular training and monitoring is important to get the desired results consistently. Remember to always where a mask while cleaning and disinfecting.

We recommend Envirox peroxide based All Purpose Cleaners (product information click here) (Green Seal Certified and Eco Logo Formulas available) as Step 1.  It is safe for the employees to use and works very well.  Using microfiber cloths/flat pads for daily cleaning is paramount. Microfiber has a charge in them to attract dirt/germs and small microscopic fingers to remove 98% of soils and germs alone. Small dedicated washing machines are best to clean microfiber, as it is important to continue to have clean tools in the custodian’s hands. You also never want to mix any other cloth with microfiber when washing them. They should always be washed with other microfiber products only.

We recommend Brulin Brutabs (for product detail information click here) with microfiber products to disinfect for a variety of reasons as Step 2.  First, it easily kills hard germs like C-diff.  Basic disinfectants known as quaternary ammonium compounds “Quats” – widely used because of its versatility and range of fragrances –  won’t kill C-diff.  Brutabs are strong, but safe, when it comes to germ killing. The safety of its active ingredient is the same used to stabilize chlorine in pools.  There are a small percentage of people allergic to pool water and this would need to be addressed on a case by case basis.  Germs have been known to adapt and become resistant to “Quat” disinfectants, but cannot adapt to Brutabs based on its scientific make up.

We recommend Bio-Protect, long term mechanical residual kill, as Step 3. This antimicrobial product kills germs on contact for up to 90 days. As of now, December 2020, the EPA will only approve antimicrobial product’s long term kill for bacteria, because they have not developed a way to test viruses with long term kill for EPA approval. However, the manufacturer has their own 3rd party tests to show inhibition of viruses long term. Using these products, especially on high touch surfaces, allows your facility to be disinfected long term without worry. Traditional disinfection leaves the handle you disinfected good until someone touches it. Then it is repopulated with germs. Applying Bio-Protect after disinfection gives added protection. When a person touches the handle, the Bio-Protect will kill the germs on contact instantly. Bio-Protect can also be applied to textiles, so carpeting in areas where small children will be on the floor, uniforms, nurses clothing, and more are possible. It works by nano-bonding itself to a surface and creating peaks and valleys as in the diagram above. When a germ lands on the treated surface, the peaks penetrate the germs and kill them instantly.

Electrostatic sprayers has revolutionized our industry and should be used with the disinfectants.  These were originally developed for paints to get completed coverage, but in recent years it’s shown dramatic results in covering large amounts of area quickly and easily with the disinfectants. Positive charged particles can defy gravity and cling under/around surfaces to get complete coverage. (Watch a quick video)

If you need guidance or assistance in navigating COVID-19 when opening your facility, please reach out to us. We are here to help you.

References

https://www.epa.gov/pesticides/coronavirus-cases-trigger-epa-rapid-response

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases