By Apoorva Mandavilli

Feb. 17, 2021

13 experts — including several who advised President Biden during the transition — urged the administration to mandate a combination of masks and environmental measures, like better ventilation, for various industries, Apoorva Mandavilli reports for the New York Times. Since it’s been proven that COVID can be transmitted through the air, several scientists are urging officials to set air standards for high-risk settings like meatpacking plants and prisons. They say the slow vaccine rollout among other factors makes these measures all the more urgent

“It’s time to stop pussyfooting around the fact that the virus is transmitted mostly through the air,” said Linsey Marr, an expert on aerosols at Virginia Tech. “If we properly acknowledge this, and get the right recommendations and guidance into place, this is our chance to end the pandemic in the next six months,” she added. “If we don’t do this, it could very well drag on.”

Mandavilli writes; “The letter was delivered on Monday to Jeffrey D. Zients, coordinator of the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response; Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The letter urged the C.D.C. to recommend the use of high-quality masks, such as N95 respirators, to protect workers at high risk of infection. At present, health care workers mostly rely on surgical masks, which are not as effective against aerosol transmission of the virus.”

Read the full article here.