Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment
We all need to do our part to stay safe and healthy during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Covid-19 is spread through human contact, air transmission and already contaminated objects. Discount Safety Gear is prepared to help stop the spread of this virus by providing PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). With national shortages of PPE, we have used many resources to obtain stock for the general public and the essential workers.
Should I wear a mask?
Wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently are the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from the virus.
The 3M KN95 Protective Face Mask is superior in personal protection. Wearing a mask not only protects yourself but others who are working the frontlines and those who are most vulnerable to the disease. These masks are designed to fit snug to your face and prevent the release of droplets from your mouth and nose. Wearing a mask also prevents you from touching your face. It is always advised that the general public wear a mask when running essential errands.
Covering your face with a mask, while in the grocery store is necessary to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Other countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan had nearly 100% compliance with the public using masks while in stores and using public transportation while also practicing social distancing. The results of the public using masks as protection from Covid-19 were astounding and there were only 6 reports deaths in these highly dense populations.
Will just wearing a mask protect me from the Coronavirus?
Not entirely, while wearing a mask provides protection for your nose and mouth, the virus can also transmit through the eyes. If you come in close contact with someone who has the virus, it very easily can be spread via aerosols, which are viral particles from the infected person. We acknowledge that full facial coverage provides the highest amount of protection. If you have noticed, in public areas, there are shields at the checkouts and in areas where you will be interacting with an employee.
How do I protect my eyes from Covid-19?
Discount Safety Gear has manufactured full face shields to be used by the general public and essential workers who are mobile to provide this protection for everyone. The Rugged Blue Protective Face Shield measures 12in x 9in and is made with a latex free band for extended wear. These face shields are sold in packs of 10, 50 and 100. They are large enough to protect the face and neck from exposure. They also are distortion-free which is necessary for medical workers and optically they are clear. Depending on the amount you purchase, an individual face shield only will cost between $3.35-$3.50.
Another way to protect your eyes from exposure is to use medical goggles or safety glasses. We offer Indirect Vented Safety Goggles which are anti-fog and are ANSI Rated Z87.1. These goggles are form fitting and have a clear lens. The anti-fog is your best option so not to obstruct your vision at any time while wearing them. They also are made to provide comfort for extended wear especially around the nose and forehead. These goggles are also form fitting to ensure a proper seal.
If you find goggles like these unavailable or not in stock, safety glasses will also protect you! Our Pyramex Intruder Clear Lens Safety Glasses are also ANSI Rated Z87.1 and are very comfortable to wear. We manufacture safety glasses and offer the best prices possible to be as low as $.80 per pair.
What else can I wear to protect my face?
You can also wear nose filters under your mask which captures up to 99% of viruses.These filters are designed with 3M filtration technology and are barely visible when wearing them. They also provide protection for you when removing your mask until you can wash your hands. You must touch your face to remove your mask, so it is best to consider this extra protection. The nose filters are also less obstructive than the mask and could be worn continually, even at home. It is still recommended that you wear a mask, consider the nose filters as an additional layer of protection.
What are some other ways I can protect myself?
Now that you understand your options and use of wear for masks, nose filters, face shields and goggles, we need to also protect our hands. It is recommended to wash your hands as often as possible or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. It is much easier for the general public to wash their hands consistently rather than a medical professional or essential worker as frequent trips to the bathroom are sometimes off the table. Since nurses and doctors are dealing directly with infected people, it is necessary they take all precautions, including wearing gloves.
Who should be wearing gloves?
The World Health Organization strongly recommends that gloves are worn by medical professionals and then discarded after examination between patients. However, it is more effective for the general public to wash their hands to prevent the spread while running essential errands. If you do decide to wear gloves, you must follow the guidelines to remove them properly and wash your hands immediately after. It is very important to not reuse gloves and discard them after you touch any surface because it could be contaminated. We offer a selection of 100pk Gloves that are vinyl and available in a variety of sizes. Again, it is extremely important to wear gloves while caring for someone who is infected with the virus and to dispose of them immediately after care is complete.
When should I use hand sanitizer?
Hand Sanitizer is one way to keep yourself protected if you can’t wash your hands but it is not a substitute for washing your hands. When running essential errands, it is difficult to continually wash your hands with soap and water to kill the virus. It is best practice to wash your hands before you leave your home and then to also apply hand sanitizer for extra protection. It is also important to sanitize your hands after touching surfaces that could be contaminated if you can’t wash them right away. The sanitizer will work more effectively if your hands are also cleaned with soap and water regularly. If your hands are visibly dirty, the hand sanitizer will not be effective enough, and you should wash them as soon as possible.
When applying hand sanitizer, spread it to cover all areas of your hands and continue to rub it in until it is dry. Discount Safety Gear is now offering Bluegrass Distillers Hand Sanitizer in 8oz and half gallon options for personal and professional use. This formula is FDA Approved and contains 80% Alcohol, 1.45% Glycerol, .125% Hydrogen Peroxide and Sterile Distilled Water. The CDC has recommended that hand sanitizers have at least 60% Alcohol to be effective and for it to contain some water in the formula.
How else can Covid-19 be transmitted?
The top focus of protection is keeping your hands and face clean or covered. Droplets that can carry the virus from one person to another but when those droplets do not transmit to another person, where do they go? They go on the floor. The virus will live on the floor long after the contaminated person has left. The time the virus can live depends on the temperature, it could be hours or days after contamination. One cough or sneeze can send the virus hurling in a near 20-foot radius, most of those droplets fall to the floor.
Medical Staff treating Covid-19 patients are at the highest risk for spreading the virus by simply walking room to room. It is extremely important that they protect their feet with Shoe Covers to prevent the spread of the virus. It is best to have a large quantity of shoe covers available just like gloves. Imagine the floor being a carrier just as your patient so when you move from one area to another, you must change your gloves and shoe coverings!
The general public should also consider wearing Shoe Covers especially when visiting higher risk areas like pharmacies, clinics or grocery stores. You can purchase shoe covers for as low as $0.75, if you make 1 essential trip to the store a week this is a very inexpensive way to further protect yourself. If you see people who are not wearing masks, they could still be a carrier and if they sneeze, your shoes can be contaminated. Wearing shoe covers also keeps you aware that the virus lives on these surfaces and this will help stop you from tracking it into your car or home. Remove and discard shoe covers before you place your feet in the car. Keep a biohazard or trash bag with you so you can dispose of the shoe covers safely in a trash receptacle.
How can Medical Professionals protect themselves further?
Another way that medical professionals and essential workers can protect themselves is by wearing protective clothing. Disposable Coveralls suits are available in a variety of sizes and provide coverage from the neck down. Also know as Tyvek suits, these coveralls are essential to use in emergency response when dealing with Covid-19. It is also important to wear shoe covers or protective footwear. We have provided a full instructional video and transcription of the video below on how to properly put on and discard all PPE that you are wearing.
Donning your suit
- Wash your hands well, you can also use hand sanitizer.
- If you have long hair, tie it back and remove any jewelry that would impede movement or puncture the suit. The buddy system works best for donning your suit.
- The first item is a pair of gloves to help you suit up cleanly and safely. Disposable powered latex gloves work well.
- The next item is a Tyvek hooded coverall. This provides liquid barrier protection without sacrificing flexibility. It is strong whether it is wet or dry even in extreme temperatures.
- Lap the sleeve over the gloves. Use 3M or duct tape to create a large zipper pull to make doffing the suit easier later.
- The next item is a disposable respirator with 95% filter efficiency, typically these are labeled N95 or KN95. Cup the respirator in your hand and place it over your nose with your chin seated in the rounded end. Pinch the flexible band to the bridge of your nose then check to see that the mask moves with your breath as you inhale and exhale.
- Next use indirect vented goggles for the first layer of protection. Donn the goggles then pull the suit’s hood over your head. We are using the adjustable UX Bionic Shield to protect against airborne debris, notice how it fits over the goggles and respirators.
- Now check for visibility. Finally pull chemical resistant nitrile gloves over the coverall sleeve. Bend the arm to allow room to move and tape the seam between the long gloves and the Tyvek coveralls. Make at least one circumference around the arm with one continuous piece of tape.
- Finish it off by adding a pull tab to make removal easier if you accidentally puncture the gloves. Test the tape seems and all equipment by bending and stretching.
Doffing your Suit
- Wash gloved hands thoroughly.
- Set two biohazard bags or two trash bag liners close to each other and step into the first bag.
- Loosen the face shield and push it gently away from your face. Put it in the biohazard bag.
- Unzip the suit and remove the hood by rolling it back. Roll the suit down over your shoulders, keeping outer gloves attached to the suit. Think of it as peeling a banana so it remains inside out as you go.
- Step out of the suit and boot covers leaving the suit in the biohazard bag. Tie off the first biohazard bag.
- Wash hands with thin gloves still on and remove gloves by rolling them down your fingertips and turning them inside out as you go. Place in second biohazard bag.
- With clean hands remove goggles and respirator. Then put into second bag and tie off the bag.
- Wash hands thoroughly.
We hope this information is helpful for both the general public and essential workers. Our goal is to provide protection for all and stop the spread of Covid-19. You can view all of our PPE here for purchase.
FAQs on the EUAs for Non-NIOSH Approved Respirators During the COVID-19 Pandemic – https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/faqs-euas-non-niosh-approved-respirators-during-covid-19-pandemic
Center for Disease Control & Prevention – https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0885_article
World Health Organization – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Happi ISSA Issues Coronavirus Guidance – https://www.happi.com/contents/view_breaking-news/2020-01-30/issa-issues-coronavirus-guidance/