Situation Update

Cumulative/Active cases:
  • Watauga County Cases: 65 (27 active)
  • Ashe County Cases: 51 (9 active)
  • Avery County Cases: 12
  • NC Cases: 64,670
Statistics Source: NC Department of Health & Human Services, AppHealthCare. Last update: 6/30 2:00 pm

Topics covered in today’s update:

  • Situation Update
  • Eye Protection Information
  • Updated COVID-19 Symptoms

ARHS Eye Protection Information for Staff

Eye Protection Examples

Cleaning / Disinfecting Instructions

  • Safety Glasses and Eye Shields should be cleaned/ disinfected each time they are removed from your face.
  • Face Shields are not washable, and should be discarded if soiled and/or at the end of extended use.
  • Touch eye protection only with clean hands.
  • Clean with either bleach wipes or HP (purple top) wipes, whichever is available.
  • Follow specific instructions per wipe container.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is expanded use of eye protection being required?
Universal masking is protecting your mucous membranes of your mouth and nose, but you can also be infected via the mucous membranes of the eye. Eye protection is added to protect mucous membranes of the eye.

How will this be enforced?
Employees are encouraged to speak up to each other, as we do for hand hygiene, and hold each other accountable.

Do you have to clean and reuse eye protection?
Yes. Safety glasses and eye shields should be disinfected when removed from your face. Continue to reuse them until cracked or otherwise damaged — at that point discard and get a new one.

Do I need to remove the eye protection each time I leave a patient?
No. You should leave your eye protection on continuously, touch it only with clean hands, and then clean/disinfect it once removed from your face.

Should I wear eye protection in common areas, such as hallways or nurses’ station?
Yes, wearing eye protection in common spaces within the clinical unit is recommended. Best practice would be to wear your eye protection continuously as long as you can, similar to how you wear your mask in an extended fashion. Avoid touching the eye protection as much as possible; touch only with clean hands and perform hand hygiene after touching it.

How can I keep my eye protection from fogging up?
Make sure your mask fits securely by pinching/pressing the nose clip.Prior to use, consider washing safety glasses/eye shield with soap and water. This acts as a surfactant on the eyewear and can help prevent fogging. Soap and water do not take the place of disinfecting the eye protection when removed.

Do I need to wear eye protection when sitting at my desk, in a non-clinical area too?
You do not have to wear eye protection at your desk, but if you have several folks visiting you and chatting at your desk then you can choose to continue to wear it.

Updated symptoms for COVID-19

If you have these symptoms, notify your supervisor before coming to work:

Fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle/body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

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