Tampa General Hospital, USF Health create COVID-19 safety consultation service for schools and businesses

Posted at 7:15 AM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 08:16:32-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa General Hospital and USF Health have come together to create TGH Prevention Response Outreach, which provides COVID-19 consultation.

Experts are now working with schools, companies, sports teams, restaurants, attractions and other businesses for infection prevention.

“For an individual business or school, it’s to protect their customers, protect their students in the case of a school and to protect the staff and the teachers,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, Senior Vice President of USF Health and Dean of Morsani College of Medicine.

Doctors say there was a significant need for this in the community, with so many people asking for help.

“A lot of us were getting calls to kind of provide as needed consultations on their infectious disease standards,” said Lockwood.

A team of doctors and experts can review a company’s COVID-19 safety plans, do a site visit to look for health issues, educate team members on infection prevention, and recommend improvement measures.

Experts say the whole point is to make sure no one gets infected in a way that’s preventable.

“Number one, to minimize spread, that’s kind of the most important. If we can create safe working environments, safe school environments, and so forth, there will be less spread,” said Lockwood.

He says one of the main problems they see when reviewing a company’s safety plan and conducting a property visit is a simple fix.

“How to wear a mask properly. It’s amazing what we see when we walk into a facility. Maybe you’ll see people with their masks down on their chin, or my favorite is under the nose, somehow that is going to be effective,” said Lockwood.

Although wearing a mask and social distancing is important, Lockwood says there are many more technical details that go into creating a safe environment.

Experts have to look at the entire organization, including disinfecting the walls and corrections engineering components.

“Is there air conditioning, does it have enough fresh air flow in it, are we creating barriers to the spread of the virus with plexiglass and entrance points? What’s the surveillance method that’s being used to make sure that there’s not spread that’s not being identified,” said Lockwood.

For more information or to request a consultation, contact TGH Prevention Response Outreach directly, by clicking here.