Screening News Update: Two Masks Are Better Than One and Fast Food to the Rescue

Screening News Update: Two Masks Are Better Than One and Fast Food to the Rescue

By Jennifer Gladstone

Experts suggest two masks instead of just one, a country loses trust by overreaching with contact tracing, and Chick-fil-A saves the day at a vaccination site. Check out these stories in today’s EBI Screening News Update.

Time to Double Up?

Dr. Anthony Fauci came out this week and said two masks are better than one when it comes to blocking the droplets that spread COVID-19. You may have already seen people doing this and wondered does it actually make a difference? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not yet recommended we all make the leap to two masks, but there is science behind the practice.

Dr. Linsey Marr, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech and one of the world’s leading aerosol scientists, has been studying all kinds of masks. Here are a few of her findings:

  • Three layers between you and the virus are better than two. That can be accomplished by wearing a two-layer mask with a filter insert or wearing a fabric mask over a surgical mask.
  • Flexible materials are better than stiff ones that allow gaps.
  • Ties are better than ear loops to help avoid those dangerous gaps.
  • Adding a face shield works, but face shields alone do not.

Dr. Marr says don’t worry about getting an airtight seal, which is unrealistic without medical grade equipment. Instead, think about the multiple layers as an obstacle course that the coronavirus must struggle through to reach your nose and mouth. The harder it is, the less likely it will make its mark.

Experts also say you might only need to double-up in certain high-risk situations like grocery shopping, riding mass transit, or sitting in a doctor’s office.

EBI Workplace Health & Safety has masks that meet all of these recommendations. Check them out here.

Country Crosses Privacy Line

When it comes to background screening, it is essential that people know their personal information is properly protected from prying eyes and only used for hiring purposes. You would think it would be the same when it comes to information collected for COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. We are talking about medical information, after all.

A cabinet minister in Singapore has revealed that police there can access COVID-19 contact tracing data to help them with criminal investigations. As you might imagine, the revelation is not going over very well.

More than 78% of the population there has signed up to wear contact tracing devices to help stop the spread of the virus. The tracking device detects when two units are within 6 feet of each other for more than 30 minutes and then utilizes that information if there is a case of COVID-19.

There was tremendous buy-in by the public for a couple of reasons. First, you must be using the device if you want to go into any public venue, and the government stressed repeatedly that the information would never be used for anything but contact tracing.

Now, the government claims the country’s Criminal Procedure Code allows them to gain access to the information if “public safety is at risk” – a pretty vague statement during a pandemic. The UK had a similar issue back in October, but developers there quickly went public promising that none of the data from their app would be shared with the police for any reason.

Would You Like Fries With that Vaccine?

You may have heard people talk about how Chick-fil-A has mastered the drive-thru like none other. Now, the fast-food team is putting that skill to good use by helping move vaccines faster than chicken nuggets!

Last week a computer glitch wreaked havoc on a vaccination site in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. People were sitting in their cars for hours waiting for their shots. The mayor picked up the phone and called the manager of the local Chick-fil-A and asked for help.

Manager Jerry Walkowiak jumped right in and got the line moving in the quick and efficient style Chick-fil-A is known for! Instead of just giving advice on how to improve the situation, he stood out in the rain and worked the line making sure people had their paperwork done and expertly directed the traffic. People who were there later posted on social media that the drive-thru pros dropped the wait time from more than an hour to 15 minutes!

Screening News Network

About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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