NORTHBROOK, Ill.—September 8, 2020—The Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA, recently led a training workshop in Washington, D.C. for journalists reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facilitated by Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner of GBAC, the five-hour face-to-face workshop included journalists, producers, and photographers from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The GBAC journalist training aimed to help news staff reporting in the field where there is increased exposure to COVID-19 mitigate the risk of infection.

GBAC Journalist training

Dr. Macgregor-Skinner demonstrates how to disinfect camera equipment.

The workshop covered infection prevention and control and transmission-based precautions specific to journalists. Since journalists use and share specialized equipment, GBAC covered issues around environmental and equipment cleaning and disinfection, as well as how to protect the equipment and types of disinfection. Dr. Macgregor-Skinner also reviewed proper PPE protocols, including how to safely don and doff PPE and the use of gloves, face coverings, suites, shoe covers, and respirators.

Equally important to preventing infection is to stop the spread if one member of the team is infected. To that end, the GBAC journalist training covered wellness checks and creating a process for rapidly identifying and isolating staff with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Additionally, participants reviewed procedures to monitor teams while on assignment, implementing workplace controls, and individual precautions that journalists and staff should take at work and at home to protect both their coworkers and their families from possible transmission.

GBAC journalist training

Participants practiced donning and doffing PPE.

For more information on GBAC, including COVID-19 resources and trainings, visit https://gbac.issa.com/.