Workers

Testing Nursing Home Workers Can Help Stop Coronavirus. But Who Should Pay?

Nationally, a similar standoff is also playing out. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has asked the federal government for better guidance about how screening tests should be covered, but an association spokeswoman said the group had not yet received a response. A spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group, said it was also waiting for federal advice on employee testing.

“It is essential that strategies that addresses workplace testing be part of an overarching public and occupational health strategy, and that federal guidance clearly articulate the roles of insurance providers, employers and public health officials,” the spokeswoman, Kristine Grow, said in a statement.

Admiral Giroir said last Wednesday that insurers, who are required to cover medically necessary coronavirus tests under the federal CARES act, should not be asked to cover worker screenings. “We would expect that to be borne either by the employer directly or under

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Medical Workers Should Use Respirator Masks, Not Surgical Masks

A new analysis of 172 studies, funded by the World Health Organization, confirms what scientists have said for months: N95 and other respirator masks are far superior to surgical or cloth masks in protecting essential medical workers against the coronavirus.

The results, published on Monday in The Lancet, make it clear that the W.H.O. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should recommend that essential workers like nurses and emergency responders wear N95 masks, not just surgical masks, experts said.

“It’s been disappointing that both the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. have suggested that surgical masks are adequate, and they’re clearly not,” said David Michaels, a professor at George Washington University who headed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under President Obama.

“Reliance on surgical masks has no doubt led to many workers being infected,” he said.

N95 masks offered 96 percent protection, the analysis found, while the figure for

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After Coronavirus, Office Workers Might Face Unexpected Health Threats

When you finally return to work after the lockdown, coronavirus might not be the only illness you need to worry about contracting at the office.

Office buildings once filled with employees emptied out in many cities and states as shelter-in-place orders were issued. These structures, normally in constant use, have been closed off and shut down, and health risks might be accumulating in unseen ways.

“The buildings aren’t designed to be left alone for months,” said Andrew Whelton, an associate professor of civil, environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University.

Dr. Whelton, other researchers and public health authorities have issued warnings about the plumbing in these buildings, where water may have gone stagnant in the pipes or even in individual taps and toilets. As lockdowns are lifted, bacteria that build up internally may cause health problems for returning workers if the problem is not properly addressed by facilities managers. Employees

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‘I Can’t Turn My Brain Off’: PTSD and Burnout Threaten Medical Workers

The coronavirus patient, a 75-year-old man, was dying. No family member was allowed in the room with him, only a young nurse.

In full protective gear, she dimmed the lights and put on quiet music. She freshened his pillows, dabbed his lips with moistened swabs, held his hand, spoke softly to him. He wasn’t even her patient, but everyone else was slammed.

Finally, she held an iPad close to him, so he could see the face and hear the voice of a grief-stricken relative Skyping from the hospital corridor.

After the man died, the nurse found a secluded hallway, and wept.

A few days later, she shared her anguish in a private Facebook message to Dr. Heather Farley, who directs a comprehensive staff-support program at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. “I’m not the kind of nurse that can act like I’m fine and that something sad didn’t just happen,”

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