COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Hospital Environmental Health and Safety Consulting

COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, has created major challenges for private and public healthcare operations across the United States. As more people in the US become ill, hospitals have been working diligently to reduce the risk of exposure for patients, healthcare workers, and visitors. Despite efforts to mitigate risk with the use of personal protective equipment, cleaning protocols, and other infection control measures, more than 9,000 US healthcare workers have been infected with COVID-19 as of April 14, 2020, according to the Washington Post.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines to assist healthcare professionals with health and safety plans to mitigate the transmission of fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens, including COVID-19. However, these guidelines can be challenging to implement correctly, especially when healthcare facilities are forced to adapt existing infrastructure to handle higher numbers of infected patients.

Comprehensive EHS Resources for Healthcare Organizations

Higgins and Associates’ team of environmental health professionals and industrial hygienists has decades of experience designing controls and testing programs for pathogens. We can assist healthcare clients with minimizing exposure risks and subsequently reducing business operation interruptions.

Engineering controls are ranked by their reliability and effectiveness in the following order:

 

  1. Engineering controls

  2. Administrative controls

  3. Personal protective equipment (PPE)

 

Major distributors in the United States have reported shortages of PPE, including N95 respirators, facemasks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves. For this reason, engineering and administrative controls are now more important than ever to ensure patient and healthcare worker safety.

 

Higgins’ industrial hygienists can help our healthcare clients reduce exposures for patients and healthcare workers by:

  • Assisting with the retrofit and conversion of standard patient rooms into emergency airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR)

  • Assisting with the design of temporary barriers to limit contact with COVID-19 patients

  • Testing of air handling systems for temporary barriers and AIIR

Rigorously Researched, Designed, and Tested

Higgins’ protocols and testing methods are developed in concert with guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

​Please contact Art Goguen at agoguen@higgins-and-associates.com or call (303) 994-8122 to discuss these services in greater detail or if you would like more in-depth information on CDC guidelines.

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