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Can beard nets safely be used in lieu of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19?


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#1 orchidhaghighi

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:02 PM

Hello,

 

I work in a bakery and we are having concerns with our employees having problems with breathing when wearing their facemasks. My superiors want to use beardnets instead of facemasks. does anyone know where i can look to find evidence to show that this may not be the right decision. 

 

 

much appreciated!



#2 Simon

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:11 PM

Hello orchidhaghighi and welcome to the forums.

Beardnets are for containing facial hair and not fit for purpose when it comes to reducing transmission of covid-19.
Is it not possible to social distance in your workplace?

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Simon


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#3 orchidhaghighi

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:28 PM

We can in some areas but we are a very manual bakery when it comes to the production and packing so we cannot always guarantee 6ft. i just really need hard evidence to support that using beard nets in lieu of facemasks is not the right decision when it come to the protection of our facility and its employees. 

 

I know that we also need to take into account our team members well being it terms of heat stress while enforcing the mask mandate. 

 

does anyone have suggestions for preventing the spread of covid-19 that is not face masks?

 

face shields unfortunately  don't work for us either because we cannot source them and they failed our risk assessment.



#4 kettlecorn

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:34 PM

Simon is exactly right. I think in this case the burden should be (on your superiors) to show any evidence whatsoever that beard nets do anything to protect against Covid-19 (there is no evidence I know of). There is plenty of evidence for the effectiveness of actual masks. See below (for the types of masks being discussed, see pages 4-5). 

 

https://pws.byu.edu/...id-19-and-masks



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#5 Simon

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:34 PM

If you cannot maintain distance then do you at least minimize the size of work teams that do not mix with other teams? They call them bubbles or pods in covid speak.

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#6 orchidhaghighi

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:37 PM

Hey Simon,

 

We lessened our staff but the way our line is operated doesn't always allow for individuals to maintain 6ft and the teams usually consist of 4 to 6 individuals in close quarters


Edited by orchidhaghighi, 02 September 2020 - 01:38 PM.


#7 kettlecorn

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 01:38 PM

Also, you might think of segregating stations via some sort of plexiglass or plastic divider, if that's possible. 



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#8 orchidhaghighi

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 02:01 PM

this is something we are discussing but it doesn't  seem feasible in our case due to daily equipment and line location changes.



#9 kettlecorn

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 03:30 PM

Just to add one last thing that I hope is helpful: here is a recent scholarly article discussing the superiority of regular masks over alternatives, and another from the Wall Street Journal talking about the need for proper ventilation (of course, this might be expensive in your case at a bakery, with the need for retrofitting proper filters and so forth, but it's at least another option that might drive home the point that masks are cheap and effective).

 

https://aip.scitatio....1063/5.0022968

 

https://www.wsj.com/...ion-11598953607



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#10 orchidhaghighi

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 03:32 PM

Thank you very much i appreciate it!



#11 Ryan M.

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 06:32 PM

We had complaints of our staff regarding the difficulty of breathing with masks in some areas.  We are renting portable cooling units in the very hot areas to help.  Since then no further complaints or feedback.  To be honest, since we saw a sharp rise in COVID cases in our area, and a number of our staff getting infected (off-site among their family) personnel take the precautions much more seriously.

 

Try to provide better ventilation or cooling and enforce the wearing of masks.  The science and data supports the wearing of masks.






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