COVID-19 Resources and Education

Resterilization and Reuse of N95 Respirators

PPE Re-Use Training

Everyone should be wearing a lab coat while working with biological agents in a lab; no exceptions. Although there may not have been much attention paid to this in past, now is a great time to encourage the proper lab attire, which definitely includes a lab coat. Lab coats and other lab PPE should stay in the lab.
Cloth Mask Use in BSL1 and BSL2 Activities:

  • Individuals should have a cloth mask dedicated to lab work for BSL1 and BSL2 activities (preferably 2 to rotate). When storing BSL1 and BSL2 dedicated cloth masks: Place in a clean plastic bin with lid.  Don’t completely seal the lid (need aeration).  1 storage container per person and keep separated.
  • The lab cloth mask, dedicated when performing lab work, should be treated like the lab coat and should not be taken home to clean or wash unless it has been decontaminated. As with lab coats, for biological sterilization, it can be autoclaved and then taken home to launder or we recommend washing it with soap and water at the lab sink before leaving the lab.

Cloth Mask Use in General:

  • For all other locations on campus, cloth masks, not N95s or surgical masks, should be worn outside the lab in common areas at all times on campus. Personnel ideally should have at least two cloth masks so they can be rotated, washed and re-used again.

Spectacle Fogging Prevention:

  • A simple method to prevent spectacle lenses misting up on wearing a face mask: View Article
  • How to stop your glasses from fogging up when you wear a mask: View Article
  • Wash glasses with soapy water and shake off the excess. Then, let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now your glasses shouldn’t mist up when the face mask is worn
  • Consider purchasing anti-fog solutions
  • Anti-fog solutions for swimming or for diving are great for 3-5 hours regular work.
  • The soapy water method may work in brief or simple situations. Spread a tiny bit of liquid dishwash soap (Dawn works great) on the inner surface of the lens and then remove the excess with a soft cloth. Do not polish. Just remove most of it. Try to fog with your breath  and suddenly a clear view will appear.
  • Please note that water will condensate over the lens but through a large surface rather than in small little drops. This method normally works well during 2-3 hours of regular work.
  • Be careful with long eyelashes as soap may reach the eyes. Some people recommend half liquid dishwash soap and half baby shampoo due to that.
  • Some don’ts: car anti-fog solutions (they do work but users quickly find out about chemical conjunctivitis), spitting (just don’t!), car wax..

Guidance on how to use our wipes and sprays. In addition, we collect our wipes in biohazard bags, autoclave them on the dry cycle, launder them, and then make more. The “how to” I attached simply states to dispose once they are ‘grimy’; this is because we give these out to areas that cannot autoclave and recycle. It would be up to each research lab if they want to re-use or discard.

The formulas are very simple—50% ethanol for wipes and 1% hydrogen peroxide (in dark spray bottles) for spray. We use sterile, endotoxin free water and I would recommend the same, especially for hydrogen peroxide so that its effectiveness is preserved. Since these formulas are so simple, we do not have an SOP, and went with a simple “how to use” mostly to ensure appropriate contact time (ethanol-based solution) and reduce the likelihood of corrosion (hydrogen peroxide based solution).

View this older article based on a literature review recommending disinfectants. This article also recommends bleach, which is also supported by the CDC and WHO; however, we eliminated bleach since our products are used by the ‘general CSU community’ and the restrictions on use of bleach were too prohibitive.

In addition, the early release article found here. This article supports the use of ethanol, even to lower concentrations, for effective surface disinfection of SARs-CoV-2. We continue to provide this at 50% concentration.

We vetted our products through Occ Health and OGC as part of the approval to distribute.