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Limiting the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019: COVID-19

Guidelines for the Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Limiting Exposure to and the Spread of the Coronavirus


Personal Protective Equipment


Personal Protective Equipment

Employers should select appropriate PPE and provide it to workers in accordance with OSHA’s PPE standards (29 CFR 1910 Subpart I). Workers must receive training on and demonstrate an understanding of the following:

  • when to use PPE

  • what PPE is necessary

  • how to properly don, use, doff PPEs

  • how to properly dispose of or disinfect and maintain PPE

  • and the limitations of PPE.

Any reusable PPE must be properly cleaned, decontaminated, and maintained after and between uses.


Gloves

Put on clean, non-sterile gloves upon entry into the patient room or care area.

Change gloves if they become torn or heavily contaminated.


Remove and discard gloves immediately upon leaving the patient room or care area. Please see section below on “Using More than one Kind of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” for recommended sequence of PPE removal.


Gowns

Put on a clean disposable gown upon entry into the patient room or area. Change the gown if it becomes soiled. Remove and discard the gown immediately upon leaving the patient room or care area.


Respiratory Protection

Use respiratory protection (i.e., a respirator) that is at least as protective as a fit-tested NIOSH-certified disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirator upon entry to the patient room or care area. See appendix for respirator definition.


The respirator should be the last part of the PPE ensemble to be removed. If reusable respirators are used, they must be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions prior to re-use. If disposable respirators are used, they should be removed and discarded after leaving the patient room or care area and closing the door.


Respirator use must be in the context of a complete respiratory protection program in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134external icon). Staff should be medically cleared and fit-tested if using respirators with tight-fitting facepieces (e.g., a NIOSH-certified disposable N95) and trained in the proper use of respirators, safe removal and disposal, and medical contraindications to respirator use.


Eye Protection

Put on eye protection (e.g., a disposable face shield) upon entry to the patient room or care area. Remove and discard eye protection immediately upon leaving the patient room or care area. Reusable eye protection (e.g., goggles) must be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions prior to re-use.

Using More than one Kind of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Different types of PPE are used together to prevent multiple routes of transmission.


Putting on PPEs

The following sequence is a general approach to putting on this PPE combination for respiratory pathogens: first gown; then respirator; then goggles or face shield; then gloves.


Removing PPEs

Follow this general sequence for removing PPE for respiratory pathogens:


First gloves; then goggles or face shield; then gown; then respirator.

Except for respirator, remove PPE at doorway or in anteroom. Remove respirator after leaving patient room and closing door.


Careful attention should be given to prevent contamination of clothing and skin during the process of removing PPE. Perform hand hygiene as described above immediately before putting on and after removing all PPE.


Personal Protective Equipment

Employers should select appropriate PPE and provide it to workers in accordance with OSHA’s PPE standards (29 CFR 1910 Subpart I)external icon.


Workers must receive training on and demonstrate an understanding of when to use PPE; what PPE is necessary; how to properly don, use, doff PPE; how to properly dispose of or disinfect and maintain PPE; and the limitations of PPE. Any reusable PPE must be properly cleaned, decontaminated, and maintained after and between uses.


Gloves

Put on clean, non-sterile gloves upon entry into the patient room or care area. Change gloves if they become torn or heavily contaminated.


Remove and discard gloves immediately upon leaving the patient room or care area. Please see section below on “Using More than one Kind of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” for recommended sequence of PPE removal.


Gowns

Put on a clean disposable gown upon entry into the patient room or area. Change the gown if it becomes soiled. Remove and discard the gown immediately upon leaving the patient room or care area.


Respiratory Protection

Use respiratory protection (i.e., a respirator) that is at least as protective as a fit-tested NIOSH-certified disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirator upon entry to the patient room or care area. See appendix for respirator definition.


The respirator should be the last part of the PPE ensemble to be removed. If reusable respirators are used, they must be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions prior to re-use. If disposable respirators are used, they should be removed and discarded after leaving the patient room or care area and closing the door.


Respirator use must be in the context of a complete respiratory protection program in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134external icon). Staff should be medically cleared and fit-tested if using respirators with tight-fitting facepieces (e.g., a NIOSH-certified disposable N95) and trained in the proper use of respirators, safe removal and disposal, and medical contraindications to respirator use.


Eye Protection

Put on eye protection (e.g., a disposable face shield) upon entry to the patient room or care area. Remove and discard eye protection immediately upon leaving the patient room or care area. Reusable eye protection (e.g., goggles) must be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions prior to re-use.


Using More than one Kind of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Different types of PPE are used together to prevent multiple routes of transmission.


The following sequence is a general approach to putting on this PPE combination for respiratory pathogens: first gown; then respirator; then goggles or face shield; then gloves.


Careful attention should be given to prevent contamination of clothing and skin during the process of removing PPE.


Perform hand hygiene as described above immediately before putting on and after removing all PPE.


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