What is Coronavirus Doing to the Workforce and How Companies Handle Working Remotely?

These days we do need to be careful and protect ourselves and others with the proper PPE kits.

Until an effective coronavirus vaccine comes to market, personal protective equipment will be an important part of our everyday life.

We have seen a major demand from our clients trying to procure PPE kits to be shipped directly to their staff and we decided to offer our services to the marketplace.

In this article, you will discover

  • More about what we do
  • Which are the most effective PPE
  • How to use PPE correctly

Our experts have taken a look at the latest studies on how coronavirus spreads and which are the best protective measures, so read on!

What Are the Struggles in Providing PPE Kits During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

The coronavirus outbreak has forced companies to adapt and quickly switch to remote working.

Although the transition goes reasonably well, there are new challenges that business managers need to be aware of.

One of these challenges is securing the epidemiological safety of your workers.

During this troubled time, it is important to safeguard both the employees and the customers with high quality, affordable PPE kits.

However, it can be hard to source PPE in bulk, especially for companies with over 100 employees.

Besides not every company is in the logistics business and can handle the shipping to multiple addresses to deliver these items.

And that’s where Bluemark comes to your aid!

We have the logistics in place to source PPE items in bulk for your employees.

And we will ship them right to their homes and offices.

And we will ship them right to their homes and offices.

As long as you can provide the shipping addresses, we can fill the orders.

But first, let’s see what are the best options for PPE kits and how to handle them safely.

What is PPE and How it Slows the Spread of the Coronavirus Outbreak?

As I am sure you know, PPE means personal protective equipment. The PPE used against the spread of coronavirus refers to protective gloves, face shields, goggles, respirators, and face masks.

The goal is to reduce human-to-human transmission, which has been confirmed by authorities to be the main way of viral dissemination.

It usually occurs during close contact (within 6 ft) with infected people via respiratory droplets released during coughing, sneezing, and even talking.

The virus can be inhaled through your mouth and nose, or it might also enter your body via your eyes.

Furthermore, it can spread indirectly, if you touch a contaminated surface, and then your mouth, nose, eyes, or face mask.

Unfortunately, the virus can survive for hours or even days on some surfaces.

Considering also the high risk of asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission, everyone should have access to high-quality PPE kits.

Asymptomatic are people who are infected but develop no symptoms. According to different studies, the incidence of asymptomatic cases might be anywhere between 18 and 30%.

This means roughly one in every 4 infected people spreads the infection unknowingly.

Studies have reported multiple cases of people who didn’t have symptoms but still transmitted the coronavirus.

Even more common are the cases of presymptomatic people who can spread the virus.

Presymptomatic are people that are still in the incubation period. The COVID-19incubation period is 5 days on average but can last up to 14 days.

Presymptomatic are people that are still in the incubation period. The COVID-19incubation period is 5 days on average but can last up to 14 days. According to studies reported by the CDC, people are most infectious 1-3 days before developing symptoms.

These are some of the factors that make slowing the spread of the coronavirus so challenging.

This is why combining social distancing with the proper PPE and hand hygiene is a major step towards controlling the coronavirus outbreak.

Which are the Most Effective PPE for Your Employees?

Everyone by now has heard of N95 and KN95 respirators. N95s are special filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) designed to filter over 95% of particles with a size of 0.1 to 0.3 micrometers or larger.

That size of the coronavirus is around 0.1 micrometers so N95s provide effective protection from airborne agents, as long as the mask forms an airtight seal with the face of the wearer.

N95 is the US standard but there is also the Chinese standard for respirators calledKN95.

However, tests performed at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology reveal that the filtration capacity of KN95s varies significantly between different manufacturers and often is below 95%.

Some KN95s show the same effectiveness as N95 (filtration over 95 % for 3M), but others with just the label “KN95” on the mask have under 29% efficiency.

Besides, KN95s are not approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

On the other hand, the role of regular face masks and even surgical ones is not to filter the air at all.

Their materials are different and they do not fit tight to your face to form a seal. Surgical masks can get penetrated by over 40% of different viral particles, according to trials.

Instead, they create a mechanical barrier, which protects others from the wearer.

In case you are an either symptomatic, presymptomatic, or asymptomatic carrier, it will significantly reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.

Even if you do not cough, just talking or exhaling air might release virus particles in the air. If you have symptoms, also make sure to quarantine yourself

Since there is a serious shortage of N95s, we strongly advise you to reserve them for medical personnel who work in a highly contaminated environment and use KN95s, regular face masks, or face shields instead.

Give Your Employees an Example on How to Handle PPE Kits Properly

Did you know that if PPE is not used correctly, it can even increase the risk of coronavirus infection?

If you touch your mask or your face (especially your eyes) without washing your hands first this is even riskier for getting the coronavirus when compared to not wearing a mask at all.

This is why it is important to remember and instruct your employees in these 3 main safety points:

  1. Always wash or disinfect your hands before touching the mask or putting it on or taking it off.
  2. Be careful when taking off the mask, in order not to create aerosols in the air.
  3. Disinfect your hands before taking off the mask, in case you would like to reuse it.

The virus can survive up to a week on the surface of surgical masks according to evidence published in The Lancet. If you are infected (even unknowingly), the mask will be contaminated and then you can spread the virus with your hands as well.

Make sure to leave your reusable masks in an appropriate place or surface that is easy to disinfect. Otherwise, you can cross-contaminate surfaces and spread the coronavirus to other people.

Another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that during coughs the outside of a face mask gets quickly contaminated with the virus.

So if you are sick, you still need to keep at least 6ft distance from other people and self-quarantine to stop spreading the coronavirus.

PPE Kits and Hand Hygiene

As we already noted, hand hygiene is extremely important, not only when handling your mask but also in general to prevent indirect transmission of the coronavirus.

Washing hands with regular soap for 20 seconds is enough to kill the virus.

However, this is not always possible in the office or out in the open, so this is where gloves and hand sanitizers can help.

Hand sanitizers can easily deactivate the coronavirus, especially those with more than65% alcohol. They are also very easy to use in any setting.

Hand sanitizers can easily deactivate the coronavirus, especially those with more than65% alcohol. They are also very easy to use in any setting.

Here are safety steps to follow when using gloves:

  1. Wash or disinfect your hands before using the gloves.
  2. Do not touch your face or personal items if the gloves might be contaminated.
  3. When taking your gloves off, do not touch the outside of the second glove with your bare hand or you will contaminate yourself again. Instead, stick your fingers under the 2nd glove where your wrist is and peel it off your hand. This way you will have the contaminated surface inverted.

Face shields are another great option, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Studies show that they are also effective as a barrier to protects others from the wearer.

Shields do not form a seal on the wearer’s face but besides that, they have multiple advantages:

  1. Easy to wash, disinfect and re-use.
  2. Reducing the risk of touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or mask with dirty hands.
  3. Comfortable to wear and breathe trough.
  4. Reinforces the importance of physical distancing.
  5. It makes lip-reading possible for people with hearing problems.

Unfortunately, guidelines for their use and standards for their manufacture vary widely, so they are best used as adjunctive personal protective equipment.

In Conclusion, Here is Our Offer!

Do you need to source PPE kits in bulk for all of your employees?

What if they are working remotely and you need to provide it right to their homes or offices?

Providing your employees with high-quality PPE kits and training them on how to use it properly are important steps for ensuring their epidemiological safety and stopping the coronavirus outbreak in our country.

Bluemark allows you to provide PPE kits in bulk, right to their homes and offices.

We have a simple form to fill out to support your remote team. Show them that you care with the proper safety products.

Also, make sure to check out CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)