The current CINET laundry hygiene protocolls recommend using face masks type 1. This recommendation was based on the work carried out by reknown hygiene laboratories.
Recent developments however have changed the scene and now CINET proposes to change the minimum requirement for the face mask to type II or type IIR – also known as surgical masks.
One might ask: why this change of recommendation? The reason to do so has been based on the following.
Face masks and the basics of Covid19 infection
Face masks are worn to help prevent someone from inhaling or exhaling harmful particles and droplets which can prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, including the current coronavirus.
The chance that people get seriously ill by inhalation of virus particles is mainly influenced by two factors:
- How many viral particles are inhaled, and
- The capability of the immune system to cope with this number of particles inhaled.
Why does Omicron spread so fast ?
This variant invades more cells in the throat and nose. That might make it more transmissible, which could help to explain the rapid spread of Omicron. A virus that is good at infecting lung tissue, on the other hand, will be potentially more dangerous but less transmissible. As we have seen with earlier variants.
What are the implications for the laundry?
As in other industries we are now observing disruptions of the processing because of high numbers of infections. With the result that large numbers of the work force are in quarantine.
This is where we recommend the management of the laundry to provide extra precautions [read PPE] for the personnel that is at risk. And in the laundry that are the staff members that handle the inbound soiled linen. This includes transport personnel the staff that carries out the sorting and the staff members that load the washing machines.
Note: Make sure that the face masks fit nicely!