People who are rushing to wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 and employers who are demanding that their employees do so should know that this is a point-in-time test. This means that the results are based on the moment that the test is taken — period. It doesn’t mean that a person is COVID-free for any point beyond the negative result.
Next is the suggestion that N95 dust/fog filter masks (respirators) should be used by the public.
In employer settings, the federal OSHA says, “Using a respirator may place a physiological burden on employees that varies with the type of respirator worn, the job and workplace conditions in which the respirator is used, and the medical status of the employee. Accordingly, this paragraph specifies the minimum requirements for medical evaluation that employers must implement to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator.”
Fit testing is also required to assure that the respirator will protect the user by filtering out contaminants of concern. A properly fitted N95 mask restricts the passage of fresh air, and that’s why a respirator physical is important to assure that the wearer won’t suffer any adverse health issues associated with using the respirator.
How many of you outside of the workplace who are currently using the N-5 mask have either had it fit-tested or had a respirator physical prior to using it? I am guessing none.