The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has extensive information about the COVID-19 pandemic. This governmental organization does everything to share knowledge about the virus including how it spreads and how to protect ourselves and our communities from the infection. Every day there is updated and reliable news about the Coronavirus. The latest information includes the number of infected people, the progress being made on vaccine development, the availability of emergency supplies, and cleaning and disinfecting advice. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of that information.
- Coronavirus and COVID-19 Statistics Reported by the CDC
- Race for the Coronavirus Vaccine
- How Are Vaccines Tested?
- How Are Vaccines Approved?
- What Progress Has Been Made in the Race for the Development of a Coronavirus Vaccine?
- What Should I do to Protect Myself Against Coronavirus/COVID-19?
- Notice Any New Symptoms? For Your Own And For Public Safety: Seek Medical Attention Immediately!
- Additional CDC Advice Regarding the Coronavirus
- CDC Guide for Home Sanitizing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- CDC Guide for Sanitizing Your Workplace for COVID-19
- Important Reminders from the CDC for Reopening
- Stay Safe and Pay Attention to Information from the CDC
Coronavirus and COVID-19 Statistics Reported by the CDC
With constant fluctuation, it can be tricky to keep up with regional infection trends. Fortunately, the CDC provides maps, charts, and data on their CDC COVID Data Tracker. The overall case numbers reported on this site are validated through a confirmation process with each jurisdiction. As of this posting, there are 8.68 million recorded cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Tragically, over 225,000 people have died because of the virus. The number of patients who have recovered remains unknown.
Race for the Coronavirus Vaccine
Vaccines often require years of research and development (R&D), as well as testing and the approval process at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before even reaching the clinic. Unfortunately, given the grim statistics of this global pandemic, scientists do not have the luxury of years to spend on this vaccine. They are racing to produce a safe and effective Coronavirus vaccine by next year. Researchers are testing 44 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and over 150 preclinical vaccines are under investigation via tests on animals.
How Are Vaccines Tested?
- Exploratory stage
- Pre-clinical stage
- Clinical development
- Regulatory review and approval
- Quality control
In the pre-clinical stage, vaccines are given to animals to see if an immune response is triggered.
When a vaccine moves from the pre-clinical stage to clinical development, it will go through a three-phase process.
- Phase 1 of clinical testing: small groups of people will receive the trial vaccine
- Phase 2 of clinical testing: the study is expanded and the vaccine is given to hundreds of people with similar characteristics to those for whom the vaccine is intended (such as age or health)
- Phase 3 of clinical testing: the vaccine is given to thousands of people to test its safety and efficacy
How Are Vaccines Approved?
The US FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) is the regulatory body for new vaccines in the United States. New vaccines must follow an approval process, which can include the following:
- An Investigational New Drug application
- Pre-licensure vaccine clinical trials
- A Biologics License Application (BLA)
- Inspection of the manufacturing facility
- Presentation of findings to FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC)
- Usability testing of product labeling
After CBER approves a vaccine, the FDA continues to oversee the production and monitors the vaccine. Vaccine manufacturers may also be required to submit test results for each vaccine lot showing the potency, safety and purity.
What Progress Has Been Made in the Race for the Development of a Coronavirus Vaccine?
While these vaccines may potentially prevent infection, they actually cannot cure the disease itself. So, is there any treatment for COVID-19? There are two broad approaches being investigated: antiviral drugs that directly affect the Coronavirus’ ability to thrive inside the patient’s body and drugs that calm the immune system of the host body.
With the second approach, the discovery of steroidal drugs’ efficacy has been a significant breakthrough in the fight against Coronavirus. The UK’s Recovery trial showed the steroid dexamethasone cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and by a fifth for those patients that were only on oxygen.
What Should I do to Protect Myself Against Coronavirus/COVID-19?
All of the efforts mentioned above depend on the scientists and companies that hire them. So, what should a regular citizen do for his or her own protection and to help promote safety within their own communities? Good habits are the most important step in our personal struggles against the pandemic.
Notice Any New Symptoms? For Your Own And For Public Safety: Seek Medical Attention Immediately!
Every health organization reminds the public that seeking care immediately for sudden health events or emergencies is of utmost importance. The CDC warns that delaying any urgent care because of fear of Coronavirus could be more dangerous for you than the Coronavirus itself! Delayed care can result in worsening illness, more severe symptoms, or even death!
Additional CDC Advice Regarding the Coronavirus
In addition to the advice already mentioned, the CDC advises the public that it is very important to cover your nose and mouth, because the Coronavirus spreads through little droplets of saliva. Those droplets land on different surfaces and can survive there for several hours. Sanitizing all surfaces helps to kill most of the bacteria and viruses. According to the CDC, for sanitizing liquids to be effective against Coronavirus they need to contain at least 60% of ethyl alcohol by volume. There are also various products available for the protection of human skin and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces.
CDC Guide for Home Sanitizing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Another great resource from the CDC is their guide on how to clean and disinfect your home.
How to clean and disinfect your home:
- Wear gloves (reusable or disposable) for routine home cleaning and disinfecting
- First clean surfaces with soap and water, then use disinfectant
- Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest water setting possible
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- If someone is sick, keep a separate bathroom and bedroom for them if possible
The CDC also references the EPA’s list of household disinfectants on List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19). This list allows you to cross reference any products you may already have on hand to confirm that they will kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
CDC Guide for Sanitizing Your Workplace for COVID-19
Much like the guide for cleaning and disinfecting your home, the CDC provides another excellent resource with easy steps for keeping your workplace clean and disinfected.
How to clean and disinfect your workplace:
- Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect
- Start by cleaning surfaces with soap and water to reduce germs and dirt, then use disinfectant to kill germs
- Practice routine cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, sinks, etc.
- Disinfect with a household disinfectant on the EPA’s list of household disinfectants: List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Be sure to follow the instructions on the label of your disinfectant to ensure it’s efficacy and safe use, such as:
- Spray directly on the surface and allow to sit for a period of time
- Follow precautions like wearing gloves and ensuring adequate ventilation
Important Reminders from the CDC for Reopening
The CDC also provides guidance and some important reminders about the Coronavirus and how to reduce the risk of exposure when reopening public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes
- Coronaviruses naturally die within hours to days when on surfaces and objects with the lifespan being reduced with exposure to sunlight and warmer temperatures
- Routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces and will lower the risk of spreading COVID-19
- Use disinfectant on a surface that has been cleaned with soap and water to kill germs and further lower the risk of spreading infection
- EPA approved disinfectants should be used for disinfecting surfaces, but when these are in short supply, alternative disinfectants can be used like 70% alcohol solutions or bleach solutions (⅓ cup of 5.25%-8.25% bleach to 1 gal of water, which remains effective for up to 24 hours)
- Use and store disinfectants according to instructions on the label and keep them out of the reach of children
- Do not mix bleach or other disinfectants or cleaning products together as this can cause dangerous fumes
- Do not overuse or stockpile disinfectants or supplies to help prevent shortages of products needed for use in critical situations
- Always wear gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment for the chemicals being used
- Practice social distancing, wear face coverings, and follow prevention hygiene including washing your hands frequently with soap and water and using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available
Stay Safe and Pay Attention to Information from the CDC
At Community Attire, our primary objective is to help you keep your people safe and operations running. Our series of health and safety blogs has been written to help raise awareness of safety practices and procedures that will help limit the spread of the Coronavirus. We strongly encourage everyone to read and share the guidance provided by the CDC for COVID-19 best practices and safety guidelines. Thank you for letting us help!