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Personal Protective Equipment

This page includes interim guidance on personal protective equipment for NP and throat swabs and for aerosol-generating medical procedures in health care setting.
Last updated: May 22, 2020 at 5 PM

Pandemic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Allocation Framework

This document guides health care providers in determining what type of PPE individuals working or visiting in health care settings will receive in the event of a pandemic when demand for PPE overwhelms supply.

Masks and personal protective equipment

  • Patients under investigation should be managed with contact and droplet precautions 
  • Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs and throat swabs can be performed using contact and droplet precautions, and HCW must wear gown, gloves, surgical/procedural mask and eye protection (face shield or goggles) and do not require the use of an N95 respirator.
  • Airborne precautions including N95 respirators with gown, gloves, surgical/procedural mask and eye protection (face shield or goggles) should be used during aerosol-generating medical procedures for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.
  • For patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in acute care settings, refer to the PPE recommendation for endotracheal intubation guidance. 
  • For more instructions on how to put on and remove a surgical mask, review the How to Wear a Surgical Mask poster (PDF).
  • Learn more about cleaning and disinfection for eye and facial protection (including goggles, safety glasses and face shields).
  • The continuous, extended and repetitive use of PPE, including masks, gloves and safety glasses/goggles may cause adverse skin reactions. Learn how to prevent and manage PPE-related skin damage.

Steps for putting on (donning) personal protective equipment

  1. Hand hygiene – Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists.
  2. Gown – Cover torso and wrap around back, fasten in back of neck and waist.
  3. Surgical/procedure mask – Secure ties in middle of head and neck, fit nose band to your nose and pull on bottom down to completely cover chin.
  4. Eye protection – Place googles or face shield over face and eyes and adjust to fit.
  5. Gloves – Extend to cover wrist of gown
Download the 5 steps to Don (put on) Personal protective equipment (PPE) poster (PDF).

Steps for taking off (doffing) personal protective equipment for droplet and contact precautions

  1. Gloves - The outside of gloves are contaminated. Grasp palm area of one gloved hand and peel off first glove. Slide fingers of hand under other glove at wrist and peel off. Discard in regular waste bin.
  2. Perform hand hygiene - Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists.
  3. Gown - Unfasten ties, pull gown away from neck and shoulders, touching ONLY the inside of the gown. Turn gown inside out and roll into a bundle. Place in soiled laundry hamper (if reusable) or in regular waste bin (if disposable).
  4. Perform hand hygiene - Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists. If you are NOT 2 meters away from the patient, exit room now, perform hand hygiene, and finish the remaining steps.
  5. Goggles or face shield - Do NOT touch the front of the eye wear. Place in receptacle for reprocessing (if reusable) or in regular waste bin (if disposable).
  6. Perform hand hygiene - Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists.
  7. Surgical or procedure mask - Grasp ties or elastics at back and remove WITHOUT touching the front. Place in receptacle for reprocessing or in regular waste bin.
  8. Perform hand hygiene - Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists.
  9. Exit room: Exit room and perform hand hygiene.

Download doffing poster (droplet and contact precautions)

Steps for taking off (doffing) personal protective equipment for airborne precautions (AGMP)

  1. Gloves - The outside of gloves are contaminated. Grasp palm area of one gloved hand and peel off first glove. Slide fingers of hand under other glove at wrist and peel off. Discard in regular waste bin.
  2. Perform hand hygiene - Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists.
  3. Gown - Unfasten ties, pull gown away from neck and shoulders, touching ONLY the inside of the gown. Turn gown inside out and roll into a bundle. Place in soiled laundry hamper (if reusable) or in regular waste bin (if disposable).
  4. Perform hand hygiene - Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists.
  5. Exit room: Exit room and perform hand hygiene.
  6. Goggles or face shield - Do NOT touch the front of the eye wear. Place in receptacle for reprocessing (if reusable) or in regular waste bin (if disposable).
  7. Perform hand hygiene - Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists.
  8. N95 respirator - Grasp ties or elastics at back and remove WITHOUT touching the front. Place in receptacle for reprocessing or in regular waste bin if soiled or broken.
  9. Perform hand hygiene - Clean all surfaces of hands and wrists.

Download doffing poster (airborne precautions [AGMP])


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