What are the engineering controls to be observed to prevent COVID-19 transmission?

1.  Maintain physical distancing or spacing through the installation of physical barriers in enclosed areas where physical distancing may be compromised, i.e. sneeze guards (Acrylic Plastic Sheets), fixed glass panels, theater ropes and stanchions, hazard warning tape, etc

2. Ensure adequate air exchange in enclosed (indoor) areas thru the following strategies:

a. Maximize natural ventilation through open windows

b. Use low-cost modifications to improve air flow i.e. addition of fans or exhaust fans.
Identify multi-occupant spaces that are used regularly and are poorly ventilated. Air flow shall be controlled to ensure indoor CO2 concentrations be maintained at-or below-1,000 ppm in schools and 800 ppm in offices. Since outdoor CO2 concentration directly impacts the indoor concentration, it is critical to measure outdoor CO2 levels when assessing indoor concentrations. Indoor CO2 levels shall not exceed the outdoor concentration by more than about 600 ppm.

c. Installation and regular maintenance of exhaust fans and air filtration devices with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters

3. Installation of hand hygiene and sanitation facilities, and provision of materials such as the following:

a. Adequate and safe water supply

b. Hand washing station or sink

c. Soap and water or 70% Isopropyl (or Ethyl) Alcohol

d. Hands-free trash receptacles, soap and towel dispensers, door openers, and other similar hands-free equipment

4. Separate Entry and Exit points in high traffic areas:

a. Use of unidirectional markers

b. Installation of signages for queuing and unidirectional movement

c. Sectioning

d. Queuing

e. Footbaths are not recommended

5. Establishment of a Screening or Triage area at different points-of-entry:

a. Health Declaration or Symptom Assessment

b. Non- contact Temperature Check

c. Isolation area near points-of-entry for symptomatic individuals

6. The use of foot baths, disinfection tents, misting chambers, or sanitation booths for preventing and controlling COVID-19 transmission are not recommended even for individuals in full PPE (e.g. pre-doffing misting).

7. Use of ionizing filters and UV lamps outside the health facility setting are not recommended by Philippine COVID-19 Living Recommendations.

8. Installation of visual  cues or signages to communicate:

a. Physical distancing of at least one meter distance

b. Cough and sneeze etiquette

c. Proper hand hygiene and control

i. Face, eyes, nose, and mouth shall not be touched
ii. Thorough handwashing with soap and water for 20-30 seconds
iii. In the absence of soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (=60% alcohol) or isopropyl (or ethyl) alcohol. Hand sanitizer is not a replacement for good hand hygiene.
iv. Proper use and disposal of PPE
v. Other critical reminders in the PDITR+ strategy and BIDA Solusyon

9. Facility for proper storage, collection, treatment, and disposal of used PPE and other infectious waste.

a. Storage

i. Designate an isolated area for containment/storage of the leak-proof yellow trash bag/container with used PPE
ii. Secure the storage area so it is not frequented by the personnel

b. Collection, Treatment, and Disposal

i. Dispose of all used PPE in a separate leak-proof yellow trash bag/container with a cover properly labeled as “USED PPE”
ii. Collect the leak-proof yellow trash bag/container regularly or twice a day (before and after working day) from
designated/specific area to the general collection area for treatment and disposal
iii. Require the utility staff to wear a medical-grade face mask and puncture-proof gloves when collecting/handling the leak-proof yellow trash bag/container
iv. Treatment through disinfection or spraying of the collected wastes with a chlorine solution (1:10)
v. Disposal of the disinfected PPE with general waste to the final
disposal facility.