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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Deciding to Open? Guidance for Back to Work, a New Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Agents, and More


The ANSI Federation and standardization community are stepping up with guidance, resources, and initiatives to support public health, safety, and infrastructure during the COVID-19 outbreak. ANSI is monitoring, sharing, and promoting appropriate news to highlight these efforts. Suggestions for news items may be submitted to [email protected]. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion.

CDC Issues Guidance to Help Communities and Businesses Plan and Respond

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shared guidance, Resuming Business Toolkit, to assist employers in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and lowering the impact in their workplace when reintegrating employees into non-healthcare business settings.

The CDC has also released a Community Mitigation Framework, detailing actions that individuals, businesses, health departments, and community settings can take to slow the spread of COVID-19, as well as reopening guidance for businesses and workplaces, including summer camps, schools, youth sports organizations, institutes of higher education, and restaurants and bars. CDC's resources focus on four categories of safeguards:

  • promoting behaviors to reduce spread,
  • maintaining healthy environments,
  • maintaining healthy operations, and
  • preparing for when someone gets sick.

On its website, the CDC also features recorded conference calls with stakeholders that highlight the current CDC guidance.

ADA Helps Dentists with Patient Protocols during Coronavirus

The American Dental Association (ADA) is providing resources and guidance to help dentists navigate this unprecedented time for their practices, staff, and patients. As part of this effort, ADA has released interim guidance that builds upon the already strong infection control protocols in place in dental offices and calls for the highest level of PPE availablemasks, goggles, and face shieldto help protect patients and the dental team when re-engaging in providing the full range of oral health care. In addition, the interim guidance includes ways dentists and hygienists can reduce aerosols.

Additionally, the association has a continuing education webinar, Caries Management Using Non-restorative Procedures in Times of COVID-19, on Thursday, June 11, to provide an overview of the ADA evidence-based clinical recommendations for management of active caries lesions using non-restorative treatments.

ASTM International's Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Agents Gears up to Fight the Virus

ASTM International's subcommittee on antimicrobial agents (E35.15), formed as part of the E35 committee on pesticides, antimicrobials, and alternative control agents, has joined the effort to combat the coronavirus. ASTM announced that the task force is dedicated to developing standard definitions, classifications, biological test methods, and recommended practices related to the efficacy of antimicrobial agents and devices.

The group's work has resulted in a list of surrogate viruses that may be used for research, including surface disinfection, to increase collaborative understanding of SARS-CoV-2's ability to persist in the environment. The subcommittee is comprised of scientists and will focus on a number of different research needs related to the novel coronavirus, including strain-to-strain comparisons, debris selections, test methods, improving statistical confidence, and optimizing test conditions for temperature and humidity.

Find out more about the efforts in ASTM's article, Surrogates and the Fight Against COVID-19.

Oracle Launches Employee Care Package for the New Workplace

To assist human resources professionals at the forefront of business disruptions, and to help ensure worker safety and productivity, Oracle has launched its Employee Care Package, with tools to support HR needs, from re-boarding to reskilling.

Gretchen Alarchon, group VP, HCM product strategy at Oracle, explains in a new video how the package can assist in tracking COVID-19 incidents and address employee questions.

See more about Oracle's offerings on its webpage.

RESNA Offers Resource to Stay Connected to Assistive Technology Professionals

The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of America (RESNA), to support its community, is sharing information, including webinars and virtual meetings, government and state resources, and other free resources.

RESNA has also announced that its members and the non-member community have access to AT Forum Listserv (AT-FORUM), a non-moderated discussion tool, to help workers stay connected to other assistive technology professionals. Through the forum, professionals can ask questions, share solutions based on experiences with the current environment, identify resources, and help fellow assistive technology professionals solve problems.

Led by the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART), the Clinician Task Force, and the National Registry of Rehabilitation Suppliers, (NRRTs), RESNA is pursuing specific "remote" guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as it applies to complex rehab wheelchair and seating evaluations.

See more RESNA resources on its COVID webpage.

See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting Standardization Community Response Efforts.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]