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Healthcare workers at Drive-thru Covid Testing Stations are being placed at unacceptable risk of becoming infected.
The reason these workers are disproportionately represented in the number of active cases can be attributed to the rate of exposure to infected people and the magnitude of the exposures. The latter being the cause, and also the issue that can be rectified.
When an infected person presents in a car, the tester is exposed to a high level of contagious aerosol that has progressively increased in concentration over the entire time the infected person occupied the car. The air surrounding the tester immediately becomes contaminated as soon as the engagement starts.
Infected aerosol envelopes the head and torso of the tester. Considering the high concentration that spills from the car, some of the contagious coronovirus then adheres to the tester. Their hair, exposed skin, ears, clothing and PPE.
The tester will at their earliest convenience, appropriately doff PPE and scrub down. However, for many that will not be sufficient to evade this virus. Since this virus remains active outside the body for several days, there's plenty of time and opportunity for it to be transferred from parts for the tester's body that was not disinfected to their mouth or nose. Similarly, it could also be transferred unintentionally to some else.
One way is to eliminate the accumulator vessel. Namely the car, and have the test conducted in a very well ventilated, open space.
Walk-up, outdoor testing stations are substantially safer.
The pictures below show what's been done countries like New Zealand where the infection rate of healthcare workers is proportionately lower than the general population.
A robust physical means of separating infected people from healthcare workers that employs an impervious barrier, is by far the best way to prevent transmissions.
In Israel, South Korea and India testing is now done via a booth that utilizes similar separation and safety techniques as used in medical research facilities.
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