Public Health Update | Masks, Ventilation, Exclusion, Sprayers

Statewide Mask Mandate Extended: — On August 14, 2020 Governor Jared Polis extended Executive Order D 2020 164 that requires all “individuals over ten (10) years old must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when entering or moving within any Public Indoor Space”.

  • This means that all staff or children over 10 years old in a child care facility must wear a face covering while indoors unless the individual cannot medically tolerate a face covering
  • Additional information can be found here.

Please note: A facility can exclude someone without a mask (see page 4 of the attached Civil Rights Guidance).  The extrapolation of this would pertain to those older than age 10.

Use of Purtabs in Protexus Sprayers:

  1. PurTabs (EPA Registration No: 71847-6-91524) are on the EPA List N, which shows that the tablets are effective against COVID-19, when mixed to a 4306 ppm concentration and used with manufacturer’s directions for Norovirus/Feline Calicivirus, Coxsackievirus or Hepatitis A
  2. However, this product is not approved for use with an electrostatic sprayer (Protexus gun or backpack sprayer)
    • Since the label does not specify the use of this product in an electrostatic sprayer, the EPA has not assessed the efficacy or the exposure scenarios for the product
    • Guns, sprayers and backpacks cannot be used in lieu of, only in addition to, regular disinfecting
  3. All products should be used per manufacturer’s instructions in order to be effective against the bacteria and viruses it claims to kill.

Aqueous Ozone:

We have recently received a number of questions related to the use of new sanitizing and disinfecting devices in school and child care settings during the COVID-19 response. After consulting with CDPHE’s indoor air quality expert, we strongly believe that devices that generate ozone as a by-product or as a mechanism of disinfection should not be allowed for use in school and childcare settings due to the possibility of hazardous indoor ozone concentrations. Laura strongly recommended against the use of these types of devices based on possible health hazards and wanted to share this additional information:

  • Ventilation is only one piece of the control of COVID and should not be the only measure taken. Handwashing, surface disinfecting, and staying home when sick are critical controls.
  • Ozone is not recommended in occupied spaces whether it is intentional or a by-product.
  • Any safe level of ozone is not effective against viruses or bacteria.
  • While OSHA does set limits for ozone, this is based on adults and is NOT applicable to children. There are no known safe levels of ozone for children/adolescents.

Because of the generation of ozone, these devices are also prohibited from use in child care and school settings as described below:

  • The Colorado Child Care Health and Sanitation Regulations (section 7.7.1.A) states:  “The building or buildings wherein a child care facility is operated shall be maintained in good repair and shall not pose a health hazard to children enrolled.”. If ozone is being generated in the child care environment the regulation can be enforced.
  • The Rules and Regulations Governing Schools in the State of Colorado (section 6.8.1.A) states: “The school campus and accessory buildings shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition and in a manner that minimizes health and safety hazards to building occupants.”. If ozone is being generated in the school environment the regulation can be enforced.

For additional information, please see the links below on ozone-generating devices:

Exclusion Guidance: The State Health Department (CDPHE) has made new child care guidance regarding the exclusion of symptomatic individuals, returning to care, etc. This is intended to help assist in decision making; however, you must still notify us (EPCPH) of any probable or confirmed cases of COVID in your child care. EPCPH Communicable Disease Department has incorporated this guidance locally.  Please see below for the guidance mentioned. You can find these documents and other information on the CDPHE website.

Airflow/Ventilation Guidance: CDPHE is in the process of drafting guidance regarding COVID ventilation in buildings and childcare centers but that guidance has not yet been released to the public. Our local guidance states that utilizing outdoor or open spaces as much as possible decreases the likelihood of high-dose exposure of infectious particles. Creative use of sports fields or outdoor school space is strongly encouraged. In indoor environments, opening of windows, use of fans, or increasing outdoor sourced ventilation is an effective means of reducing transmission.  Nearly all large publicized outbreaks are in indoor settings without spacing or face coverings and with minimal air movement.   Additional information regarding airflow and ventilation can be found here.

Available Testing Sites for Staff/Students:  

Additional Guidance and Resources for Schools: 

I have also included our updated guidance for mixing smaller quantities of bleach (below) should any of you use that for your disinfectant.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel-free to reach-out to us.

Heather N. Tucker, M.S.
Environmental Health Specialist II
El Paso County Public Health
1675 W. Garden of the Gods Rd.
Cell: (719) 291-6281

www.elpasocountyhealth.org

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