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COVID-19 check: Wearing latex medical gloves not enough, says hygiene expert

Case Western Reserve University

Shanina Knighton, a nurse scientist at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland says she has been reaching out to local Cleveland, Ohio and State of Ohio officials regarding training of workers using latex medical gloves as protection during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“While authorities are doing a lot to ‘flatten the curve’ of the spread of the coronavirus, the places so many people are still going to are a real hot spot for the spread of the virus, even though workers are now wearing gloves,” Knighton said. “The big problem is that employees are not being properly trained on infection prevention and control in part because guidelines don't exist.

“So those workers are constantly touching food, people’s money, people’s hand, carts and touch screens--without cleaning their hands or changing their gloves. But we know that the gloves can carry a bioburden and increases the risk for transfer of germs.”

Knighton in late February did a 10-part Twitter thread on hand hygiene. She has also  published multiple studies including her present work studying the movement of bacteria across various surfaces and patients’ hand hygiene practices in hospital emergency departments (which she can talk about in a general way because her work is not yet published or complete).

If you're interested in talking with Shanina Knighton, she's available directly and can arrange a Skype or similar interview.

 

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