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145th Airlift Wing COVID-19 Updates

Team, 

With the situation revolving around the spread of the COVID- 19 Virus, we have developed an easy way to ask questions to the Commanders about the status of the 145th Airlift Wing amid all the closures and changing policies. Please use the comment box below to submit your questions, they will be emailed the Wing Staff CC Org box. We will do everything we can to respond to each and every question and we will also strive to provide updates as frequently as possible to the Facebook, the Wing App, and Email.

There may be questions we do not know the answer to, but we will do what we can to find out, or at least estimate when we would have an answer. Thank you for your patience in this trying time and we hope you all continue to stay safe and stay healthy.

 

For any virus response or virus related questions not for the Command Staff:

Our base POC for COVID-19 is Mr. Sam Ingram. The hotline number is 704-391-4414

Question Form

In the Subject Line Please Type: COVID-19. If you do not wish to remain anonymous please tell us your name and what unit you belong to, so that we can better answer your questions.
If you run out of room in the box before completing your question you may submit multiple times.

Department of Defense Safety and Occupational Health Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Response to Coronavirus Disease

1. QUESTION. What procedures should be followed to clean and disinfect a workspace previously occupied by someone who is known or suspected to have contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

ANSWER. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have established guidance for the cleaning and disinfection of work areas-to include those areas previously occupied by workers who are known or suspected to have contracted COVID-19. This guidance is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/COVID-19/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning­disinfection.html and_https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting­building-facility.html. Use all disinfectants in accordance with the manufacturer's labeling. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists recommended disinfectants, found at: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars­cov2. 

2. QUESTION. Is there a need to segregate a work area and demarcate it "off limits" when someone who is known or suspected to have contracted COVID-19 has worked in the area?

ANSWER. Segregation prior to cleaning and disinfection is necessary. When the cleaning and disinfection procedures described above are completed, demarcation of areas where the individuals previously worked is not necessary. 

3. QUESTION. What personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn by personnel who are cleaning work spaces or conducting maintenance activities in areas previously occupied by someone who is known or suspected to have contracted COVID-19?

ANSWER. Personnel should wear gloves, face shields (if there is a risk of splash), disposable gowns or aprons, and other protection as recommended on the Safety Data Sheet of the cleaning or disinfectant product. Personnel should follow all personal hygiene requirements (e.g., handwashing, equipment doffing) after completion of work activities as recommended by CDC guidance, which may be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/COVID-19/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html. 

4. QUESTION. Are there any special procedures workers should use if they are planning to conduct maintenance in a residence where a person who is known or suspected to have contracted COVID-19 resides?

ANSWER. If possible, delay the maintenance work. If the maintenance is necessary, the resident should be asked to remove all items that would impede the work of the maintenance personnel. The resident should clean the area of any surficial debris, dust, etc., that would impact the effectiveness of surface disinfectant used by maintenance personnel. Workers should maintain a distance of at least six feet from the resident who has contracted COVID-19. Ask that the resident remain in a separate room while maintenance is conducted. If a separate room for the resident is unavailable and the worker is unable to maintain six feet of distance from the resident during the work, appropriate protective equipment for close contact must be worn by the worker. If necessary, clean and disinfect the work area following the CDC-prescribed procedures described in FAQ 1, and follow the procedures for personnel protection described in FAQ3.

5. QUESTION. Should heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and air handling systems be turned off or air vents covered to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace?

ANSWER. No. Based on current data, COVID-19 is spread primarily from person-to-person through close contact (within 6 feet); thus, there is no need to shut down HVAC and air handling systems. The CDC generally recommends increasing ventilation rates and the circulation of fresh air within HV AC and air handling systems. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov /community/guidance-business-response.html 

6. QUESTION. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the reporting of COVID-19 as a recordable occupational illness, pursuant to 29 CFR 1904, for those personnel who contract COVID-19 while working. Given the nature of community transmission of this illness, how can I be sure an employee contracted COVID-19 in the workplace, to satisfy OSHA record keeping requirements appropriately?

ANSWER. COVID-19 is a recordable occupational illness if a worker contracts the virus as a result of performing his or her occupational duties and if all of the following conditions are met: (1) COVID-19 illness is a confirmed case according to the most recent CDC guidance (see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/reporting-pui.html}; (2) contraction of COVID-19 is work-related, as described in 29 CFR 1904.5 (this condition will require a determination by the supervisor, who may require input from the worker's health care provider); (3) the case of illness satisfies the requirement as a recordable illness as set forth in 29 CFR 1904. 7 ( e.g., medical treatment beyond first aid is required, the number of days away from work meets the stated threshold). The reporting requirements are described in more detail at:
https:/ /www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/standards.html.

7. QUESTION. Can I suspend the completion of routine industrial hygiene and safety surveys required by Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 6055.05, "Occupational and Environmental Health," during this pandemic in order to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19, devote maximum resources to COVID-19 response activities, and provide maximum flexibility for employees to telework?

ANSWER. Yes. To ensure maximum compliance with the CDC's social distancing guidance and DoD Components' telework arrangements, routine industrial hygiene and safety surveys may be discontinued at the discretion of the Component Designated Agency Safety and Health Official, or his or her designated representative, for the duration of the pandemic, until travel restrictions are lifted the workplace returns HPCON "O, whichever comes later." 

8. QUESTION. DoDI 6055.12, "Hearing Conservation Program (HCP)," dated August 14, 2019, requires that audiometric test environments (e.g., booths) be surveyed annually. Given the recent travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, many components cannot complete these annual surveys. Can we suspend this requirement for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic?

ANSWER. Yes. The annual survey requirements specified in subparagraphs 3.8.c.(2) and (3) ofDoDI 6055.12 may be suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. These requirements should resume upon the conclusion of the pandemic, upon removal of travel restrictions or return to HPCON "O, whichever comes later.
 

9. QUESTION. Spirometry (lung function) testing is required in certain occupational medicine surveillance and certification exams. Given the concern with aerosol generating procedures and COVID-19 pandemic, can spirometry be delayed until it is safe to resume?
 

ANSWER. Spirometry testing requires a forced expiratory maneuver which is likely to spread respiratory droplets into the air and increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission, particularly to the employees administering the spirometry examination. In accordance with the April 1, 2020 Secretary of Defense Memorandum, "Guidance to Commanders on Implementation of the Risk­Based Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic," occupational health clinics can suspend routine occupational spirometry unless medically essential, when determined by the medical activity commanding officer in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to occupational health staff. Any suspension of services must be coordinated with supported commands.

10. QUESTION. Some of the N-95 respirators in the pandemic stockpiles have exceeded their manufacturer's recommended shelf-life and expiration date. Should they be discarded?

ANSWER. No. Current CDC guidance addresses this issue and may be found at: 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirators-strategy/contingency-capacity­strategies.html. Over time, the components of the N-95 respirator, such as the strap, may degrade, which can affect the quality of the fit and seal. The manufacturer should be contacted for additional guidance. At a minimum, use of expired respirators may be prioritized for situations where personnel are not exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, such as for training and fit testing. Additional CDC guidance concerning stockpiled N-95 respirators that have exceeded their recommended shelf lives may be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/release-stockpiled-N9S.html. 

11. QUESTION. Are there requirements to decontaminate N-95 respirators and other disposable filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) before reuse and, if so, what are the acceptable decontamination procedures?

ANSWER. The CDC has published guidelines for the circumstances in which disposable FFRs should be reused and decontaminated, and the appropriate procedures to follow when decontamination is necessary. These guidelines may be found at: 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/decontamination-reuse­respirators.html.  

12. QUESTION. What are the authoritative sources to obtain the most relevant and current information concerning guidance for the protection of DoD employees?

ANSWER. The following list of websites that should be consulted for additional guidance on occupational safety and health considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

•    CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/COVID-19/2019-nCoV/index.htmI
•    OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
•    DoD: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/COVID-19/

https://www.health.mil/News/In-the-Spotlight

COVID-19 PSA: Cleaning & Disinfecting

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Hand Washing PSA


145th Airlift Wing Commanders Message

145th Airlift Wing Commanders Message


COVID-19 PSA

COVID-19 PSA