Response to COVID-19 Vaccines Varies Widely in Blood Cancer Patients

Patients with a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma had a widely variable response to COVID-19 vaccines—in some cases, no detectable response—pointing to the need for antibody testing and precautions for these patients after vaccination, according to a study published in Cancer Cell in June.

Normal Breathing Sends Saliva Droplets 7 Feet; Masks Shorten This

The WHO and the CDC recommend keeping a certain distance between people to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These social distancing recommendations are estimated from a variety of studies, but further research about the precise mechanism of virus transport is still needed. In Physics of Fluids, researchers demonstrate normal breathing indoors without a mask can transport saliva droplets capable of carrying virus particles to a distance of 2.2 meters in a matter of 90 seconds.

Study shows rapid return of respiratory viruses after COVID-19 restrictions relaxed

A new Houston Methodist study shows a rapid return of seasonal respiratory viruses after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed in Texas, demonstrating the apparent effectiveness of masking, distancing and other precautionary measures at stopping the spread of respiratory illnesses. This rise in infections to pre-pandemic levels followed updated governmental guidelines lifting mask, distancing and occupancy requirements.

Research Update: Cleaning & Disinfecting PPE for Reuse

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in supply chains across multiple sectors including the shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition to hand washing and social distancing, various PPE items are used to prevent contact with…

Henry Ford Study Shows Face Masks Strongly Associated With Reducing Healthcare Workers’ Risk of Acquiring COVID-19

A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine from researchers at Henry Ford Health System has found that Henry Ford’s early implementation of a universal mask policy in the COVID-19 pandemic was strongly associated with reducing the risk of healthcare workers at Henry Ford acquiring COVID-19.

Higher Pollen Levels Correlated With Increased Coronavirus Infection Rates

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 9, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick allergy specialist Leonard Bielory is available for interviews on a study he co-authored that correlates higher airborne pollen concentrations with increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates. High-risk individuals should wear particle filter…

Masks Not Enough to Stop COVID-19’s Spread Without Distancing

Simply wearing a mask may not be enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without social distancing. In Physics of Fluids, researchers tested how different types of mask materials impacted the spread of droplets that carry the coronavirus when we cough or sneeze. Every material tested dramatically reduced the number of droplets that were spread. But at distances of less than 6 feet, enough droplets to potentially cause illness still made it through several of the materials.

Masked Education: Which Face Coverings are Best for Student Comprehension?

With the ubiquity of masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, understanding speech has become difficult. This especially applies in classroom settings, where the presence of a mask and the acoustics of the room have an impact on students’ comprehension. Pasquale Bottalico has been studying the effects of masks on communication. He will discuss his findings on the best way to overcome hurdles in classroom auditory perception caused by facial coverings at the 179th ASA Meeting.

What’s That Growing on Your Face Mask?

Many people reuse masks and other face coverings many times without sanitizing them. That is likely because current sanitization methods can be cumbersome. A new device using a hanging rack and UV-C light can sterilize up to six masks and other items simultaneously and quickly, killing bacteria, yeasts, mold spores, and viruses. This device has shown its efficacy against pathogens including the highly-contagious E-coli, which was eradicated in about one minute.

Surgeon General expects COVID-19 vaccine to be available by year’s end

In a wide-ranging talk with UCLA Health physicians, Wednesday, Oct. 28, United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, addressed the politicization of the pandemic and the means of containing the spread of COVID-19. He also offered hope that a vaccine for the virus will be available by year’s end.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Coronavirus Risk from Surfaces, Groceries, Food, Airborne Exposures

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on the likelihood of getting infected by the SARS-CoV-2  coronavirus via surfaces, groceries, eating food and airborne/aerosol transmission. “Current evidence still indicates that risk from surfaces remains…

FDA Guidance Fails to Ensure Security of 3D-Printed Masks and PPE

New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 16, 2020) – FDA guidelines for making 3D-printed masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment (PPE) in the COVID-19 era fail to defend against cyberattacks, according to Rutgers and Georgia Tech engineers. Due to the…

Recharging N95 Masks for Continued Usage

N95 masks achieve 95% efficiency at filtering out tiny 0.3-micron particles, while maintaining reasonable breathability, thanks to a layer of polypropylene fibers incorporating electrical charges to attract particles. Extended usage and decontamination, provoked by severe shortages during the pandemic, can easily remove the charges and degrade filtration efficiency. In Physics of Fluids, researchers share a method to restore the filtration efficiency of N95 masks to out-of-box levels, as long as the mask is not structurally compromised.

Researchers Create Mask Filtration Effectiveness Hierarchy

Infection prevention experts at the UNC Medical Center set out to gather evidence on the fitted filtration efficiency of dozens of different types of masks and mask modifications, including masks sterilized for reuse, expired masks, novel masks sourced from domestic and overseas sources, and homemade masks.

Button Project Lets Children See the Faces Behind the Masks

When COVID-19 cases began rising in Nashville, masking became a regular part of life across Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital as one of several public health safety measures to protect employees and patients from potential COVID-19 exposure.

Children’s Hospital decided to get creative to ensure that the 1,700 children and families who visit the hospital and clinics each day can see that the same friendly faces they’ve always known still exist behind the masks.

Survey: In Vermont, Pandemic’s Impact Falling Disproportionately on Lower Income Groups

High percentages of Vermonters agree with the state’s pandemic-inspired social distancing measures and have complied with them. But their actions have come at a significant economic cost, especially for low income Vermonters, one of several ways this group has been disproportionately affected.

As Businesses Reopen, It’s Crucial We Wear Masks, Safely Distance

In a perspective piece published today in the journal Science, UC San Diego experts describe in detail the growing evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, can be spread by asymptomatic people via aerosols — a reality that…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss How to Reduce Risk on Vacation During COVID-19 Pandemic

New Brunswick, N.J. (May 18, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on how to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection on vacation, at vacation rentals and while traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Even though everyone in the…