The US needs to step up its response on the risk of aerosol COVID-19 transmission, public health experts urged in a letter pressing the CDC and the Biden administration, the Minnesota StarTribune reports.
Last fall, the CDC acknowledged the risk of aerosols (viral particles that can float in air for hours), but the US failed to adapt, write the 13 authors, including the University of Minnesota’s Michael Osterholm and others.
Key ways to sharpen guidelines:
- Improve indoor ventilation in high-risk workplaces.
- Expand access to high-quality, fitted N95 respirator masks to high-risk workplaces
- Hike filtration standards for common store-bought masks to better protect the public
Currently, the CDC doesn’t recommend high-quality respirators in meatpacking plants, prisons, buses or grocery stores—and some hospital workers are still reusing their N95 masks, The New York Times reports. (See N95 supply story below, too.)