April 6, 2020

CDC, DOL Provide Updated Safety Guidance For Individuals, Businesses

On Friday, April 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations to the public encouraging the use of cloth face coverings in public settings. The CDC also emphasized the importance of this new recommendation in areas where significant community-based COVID-19 transmission is high. This recommendation is considered a voluntary public health measure, and the CDC offers a primer on simple face cloths here.

The CDC noted surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that must be reserved for the nation’s health care workforce and first responders.

The practice of six-feet social distancing continues to be a leading technique to slow the spread of the virus, in addition to the CDC’s current interim guidance for employers and businesses and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s workplace guidance.

The U.S. Department of Labor also issued new guidance on April 3 that requests employers “reassess their engineering controls, work practices and administrative controls to identify any changes they can make to decrease the need for N95 respirators” and lists acceptable globally sourced alternatives to the N95.