For health professionals
- Use a surgical/procedure mask along with eye protection (face shield, safety glasses or goggles), gloves and gown when taking nasopharyngeal and throat swabs. An N95 respirator is NOT required.
- Use a N95 respirator or equivalent with gown, gloves and eye protection (face shield or goggles) when performing aerosol generating medical procedures (AGMP) on patients suspected (patients with COVID-19 risk) or confirmed to have COVID-19.
- 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.
- More pieces and layers of PPE doesn’t mean more protection – Wearing extra PPE complicates the doffing process and increases the risk of self-contamination. For more information, review the appropriate PPE poster.
Current knowledge about the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 does not indicate the need for PAPR use. There may be unique individual circumstances (e.g. facial structure, unable to be successfully fit tested for an N-95 respirator) that potentially interfere with correct surgical mask or N95 respirator use. In these cases, consult your health authority Workplace Health and Safety, Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention and Control personnel. In some health care workers roles such as BC Ambulance/BCEHS paramedics, where transport times may be very long and occur in a small closed space PAPR use may be warranted.