Earlier this week, the government updated its COVID-19 slogan to be “Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air”. The addition of fresh air marks a significant step in the government acknowledging the importance of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 as advocated by the AGP Alliance.
Alongside the change in slogan, a new video has been released which explains the importance of fresh air for helping to disperse COVID particles. However, the video only demonstrates this in reference to a home-setting.
The Alliance is encouraged by the change in slogan, which clearly implicates aerosols in transmission – a crucial point to acknowledge. However, the logical and imperative extension of this new guidance to PPE in hospitals and care settings has not yet been updated to reflect the belated appreciation of aerosol transmission. The change in slogan and the new video justifies the argument which the AGP Alliance have maintained that procedures conducted at close range, i.e. within two metres of a patient, pose the greatest risk to the HCP/carer because of aerosol concentration. In fact, the new government video recognises, “the closer you are, the greater the risk of breathing in infected particles”. So why does this logic not apply to hospital and care settings? Procedures like NGT placements necessitate HCPs being in close proximity to patients and so the guidance for enhanced PPE needs to be updated.
The AGP Alliance are continuing to pursue these inconsistencies in the government’s guidance at the highest levels and will continue to campaign on this very important issue.