Airborne COVID infections should be added to infection control risk assessments, according to a new report commissioned by the RCN.
The report accuses current guidelines of failing to take account of new data supporting airborne transmission of COVID-19. It describes current guidelines as “outdated”, flawed” and providing only a “superficial account” of the available COVID-19 evidence.
The RCN also criticises the guidance that higher level personal protective equipment (PPE) is only essential in certain high-risk settings like intensive care, with discretionary use in other settings. However, RCN members say that the emergence of highly infectious new COVID-19 variants in settings with poor ventilation merit stronger guidance.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “’Following the science’ is a hollow boast when we have evidence showing the flaws. The report and its findings must launch an official review and not be swept under the carpet as an inconvenience.”