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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Thermal Cameras for Worker Safety, Survey on Pandemic's Influence on Waste and Recycling, 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.

Abbott Ramps up Production of COVID-19 Tests Across its Platforms

In its latest COVID-19 update, Abbott reports that it has shipped nearly 4.5 million of its rapid ID Now tests to all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the Pacific Islands. ID Now is the company's rapid portable testing instrument utilized in urgent care clinics, hospital emergency departments, and physicians' offices.

Abbott also reports that it has shipped nearly 4 million molecular lab tests in the U.S. to detect the novel coronavirus and nearly 12.1 million of its ARCHITECT and Alinity COVID-19 antibody tests to customers in the U.S. The company reports that it has received the CE mark for ARCHITECT and that it is shipping it to several other countries.

As the company also reported, a serology test, or antibody test helps to detect the IgG antibody to SARS-CoV-2. An antibody is a protein that the body produces in the late stages of infection and may remain for up to months and possibly years after a person has recovered. Detecting these IgG antibodies will help determine if a person was previously infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

FLIR Thermal Cameras Used to Improve Office Safety and Wellness

FLIR reports how facility managers for urban hubs and major buildings around the world can implement thermal FLIR cameras to screen people without making physical contact for elevated skin temperature. Thermal cameras are useful for worker safety protections; while they are not used to treat COVID-19, they can help by preventing the spread of the virus to others when a fever is detected-a possible sign of infection. The company reports that thermal cameras were used in a similar way during the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015, providing safe and efficient temperature measurements at various places with a lot of through-traffic such as airports, train stations, large office buildings, factories, concert halls, and gymnasiums.

FLIR also notes that it is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide a variety of its thermal products to screen for elevated skin temperatures in connection with additional screening tools. See more in FLIR's news release.

National Waste and Recycling Association Survey Highlights COVID-19's Impact on the Waste and Recycling Industry

In a joint effort to determine how recycling has been impacted as more Americans stay home and businesses produce less waste, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Environmental Research & Education Foundation have released the results of a new survey. Nearly 400 people responded to the survey, which was sent to a database of waste industry employees or an affiliated field, such as solid waste academia. Five sectors represented three-quarters of the respondents in this survey: Waste haulers (21 percent); Consulting firms (16 percent); Municipalities (13 percent); Government agencies (e.g., state/federal) (13 percent), and Academic institutions (12 percent).

Nearly 70 percent of respondents indicated they saw changes in specific waste streams, with residential waste undergoing the largest increase. The remaining 30 percent consisted of food, yard, commercial, medical, construction and demolition (C&D) and industrial waste.

"Deemed essential, waste and recycling workers and operators have taken the necessary actions to face new challenges head-on and continue operating in a safe manner," said NWRA president and CEO Darrell Smith. "In fact, two-thirds of survey respondents have implemented three or more measures to protect employees and customers, such as social distancing, working from home and implementing additional cleaning and sanitizing measures. These best practices, along with resiliency plans, are expected to remain in place as the nation begins to reopen and more employees head back to work."

The survey also revealed the top five concerns of possible issues, expressed by employees amid the pandemic, including: exposure on the job, general concern of safety/health or fear of catching the virus (not particularly job-related), having proper PPE and related supplies, job security or reduced work hours, and exposure during waste collection/management.

See the survey results here or find out how to participate in the study.

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


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