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Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – CDC

This guidance is intended for clinical laboratory and support staff who handle or process specimens associated with COVID-19. Guidance for Point-Of-Care Testing can be found here.

All laboratories should perform a site-specific and activity-specific risk assessment and follow Standard Precautions when handling clinical specimens. See Biological Risk Assessment: General Considerations for Laboratories

Refer to List Nexternal icon on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website for EPA-registered disinfectants that have qualified under EPA’s emerging viral pathogens program for use against SARS-CoV-2.

Cultures of SARS-CoV-2 should be handled in a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory using BSL-3 practices, and inoculation of animals with infectious wild-type SARS-CoV-2 should be conducted in an Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL-3) facility using ABSL-3 practices and respiratory protection.

Suspected and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive clinical specimens, cultures, or isolates should be packed and shipped as UN 3373 Biological Substance, Category B.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/lab-biosafety-guidelines.html

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Publications

Anaphylaxis Following m-RNA COVID-19 Vaccine Receipt – CDC

  • December 9 – UK authorities confirmed 2 cases of anaphylaxis after vaccination
  • December 18*, 2020 – CDC has identified 6 case reports of anaphylaxis following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine meeting Brighton Collaboration criteria for anaphylaxis
  • Persons with anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccination should not receive additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine

https://web.archive.org/web/20201219174137/https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-12/slides-12-19/05-COVID-CLARK.pdf

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News

CDC quietly revises coronavirus guidance to downplay importance of testing asymptomatic people – CNBC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer recommending testing for everyone who’s been exposed to Covid-19, saying people who don’t have symptoms “do not necessarily need a test.”

The CDC has quietly revised its guidance on coronavirus testing to say that people without symptoms who were exposed to an infected person might not need to be screened.

The agency previously recommended testing for anyone with a “recent known or suspected exposure” to the virus even if they did not have symptoms.

The CDC’s previous guidance cited “the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission” as a reason why people without symptoms who were exposed to the virus be “quickly identified and tested.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/26/cdc-quietly-revises-coronavirus-guidance-to-downplay-importance-of-testing-for-asymptomatic-people.html

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Publications

HM Government guidance states evidence for face coverings is weak

Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres, published 24 June 2020, states:

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings
Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited.

6.1 Face coverings
There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may
be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence
suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it
may protect others if you are infected but have not developed
symptoms.

It is important to know that the evidence of the benefit of using a face covering to protect others is weak and the effect is likely to be small…

(Emphasis mine)
Screenshot from HM Government publication Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres, published 24 June 2020.

Advice for offices and contact centres: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb97e7686650c278d4496ea/working-safely-during-covid-19-offices-contact-centres-240620.pdf

Advice for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/Keeping-workers-and-customers-safe-during-covid-19-restaurants-pubs-bars-takeaways-230620.pdf

Advice for close contact services: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5ef2889986650c12970e9b57/Keeping-workers-and-clients-safe-during-covid-19-close-contact-services-230620.pdf