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COVID-19 pandemic: OSHA issues guidance for retail pharmacy workers

Photo: Phoenixns/iStockphoto

Washington — To help protect retail pharmacy workers from exposure to COVID-19, OSHA has issued a safety alert.

The alert features a series of tips for employers, including:

  • Install clear, plastic barriers between workers and customers at order and pickup counters.
  • Supply workers with gloves and eye and face protection, as needed. Allow workers to wear a cloth facial covering or surgical mask over their nose and mouth.
  • Provide an area for workers to wash their hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as checkout and customer service counters.
  • Consult OSHA’s health care worker and employer guidance for workers who may need additional protections, including those providing clinical services to patients.
  • Encourage workers to stay home when sick.

In April, a coalition of 12 national pharmacy associations issued a set of joint policy recommendations to address the pandemic. The coalition notes that pharmacists “are among the nation’s most accessible health care professionals, with 90% of Americans living within five miles of a community pharmacy.”

The alert is available in English and Spanish.

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