Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is of the utmost importance to reducing the spread of disease and keeping people safe. There are so many different forms of PPE available today. Because of this, it can be challenging to know which types will offer adequate protection in particular situations.
The information that will help make an informed decision is first, knowing the virus’s behavior, and second, understanding the types of PPE that are available and how they can work together to protect you. With this information, an intentional decision can be made about the PPE an organization chooses to wear and how to choose the most effective PPE to wear.
Features of the Coronavirus
When the virus outbreak occurred, there was a lot that was unknown about the characteristics of this particular disease and its behavior. Some of these unknowns included how quickly and by what mediums a person can get infected, how the virus travels between people, and how long until someone who previously had the virus is no longer contagious. Thanks to scientists who have continually studied the coronavirus, we now know a lot more about this disease.
COVID-19’s primary form of transmission is through person-to-person contact. When someone who is infected coughs or sneezes, they spray droplets into the surrounding area. These droplets can be inhaled or swallowed by another person, and the disease then enters that person’s body. Another form of transmission for the coronavirus to travel is touching the face after coming into contact with infected surfaces or objects.
It is important to remember that though a person may not be exhibiting symptoms of the disease, they could still possibly be infected. A seemingly healthy person could spread the disease if they do not take necessary precautions and protective measures. This is why everyone needs to wear proper PPE to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Kinds of PPE Available
There are various kinds of PPE to pick from to protect from contracting a disease or spreading an infection to other people. Each form of PPE serves specific purposes when it comes to protecting the body.
- Masks. Face masks help wearers avoid inhaling contaminated droplets in the air while also preventing the wearer from exhaling and spreading any infection they might have. Medical masks shield droplets in the air from being inhaled or exhaled. Cloth masks work by trapping respiratory droplets in the fabric. Respirators, such as KN95s or N95s offer the most protection out of all the masks. They can filter out large and small particles.
- Gloves, Gowns, & Eye Protection. These forms of PPE are worn and all work as a shield against germs that could infect your body. They help to ensure that disease is contained, especially when dealing with contaminated surfaces or air particles.
- Physical Barriers. Plexi-glass is an excellent example of a physical barrier. These are essentially walls that prevent germs from crossing the barrier and keep the other side uncontaminated.
Which types of PPE Should Be Worn?
Because different forms of PPE serve other purposes, it is wise to combine them for the most protection. However, it isn’t always necessary to have all of that PPE on, nor is it practical. Because of this, it is good to consider how you can get the most protection from a limited amount of PPE.
Since the coronavirus is transmitted most often through particles and droplets in the air, masks are usually the top choice for PPE. They protect people from inhaling contaminated particles as well as stop them from exhaling germs. KN95s are masks that offer some of the most available protection available for the general public to use.
NewRain offers various PPE, including masks, that provide the necessary protection from infection of the coronavirus.