Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment
We all need to do our part to stay safe and healthy during the Pandemic. Viruses are spread through human contact, air transmission and already contaminated objects. Discount Safety Gear is prepared to help stop the spread of viruses 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 viruses. 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 the virus were astounding and there were only 6 reports deaths in these highly dense populations.
How else can viruses 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 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 viruses. 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