Surgical masks are recommended for patients/clients who have respiratory symptoms to protect other patients.
Page updated: March 26, 2020 7 pm
We are waiting for confirmed direction from the Ministry of Health on new personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines, which are expected to focus on the responsible use of PPE across the B.C. health care system.
PHSA employees, physicians and paramedics are encouraged to keep using PPE in an evidence-based manner consistent with infection prevention and control recommendations for their particular areas of direct patient care and the populations they serve.
As soon as we have confirmed advice from the ministry, we will work with our program and infection control leaders to ensure clear direction for our specialized direct care providers.
We have taken action to ensure we keep a supply of N95 respirators for use when they are needed routinely, such as for staff caring for tuberculosis patients or performing bronchoscopy. Staff are advised to go on with normal usage and not hoard supplies.
As COVID-19 is spread by the droplet and contact route, N95 respirators are not needed for routine care. Since N95 respirators are required for other infections that are airborne, and for aerosol generating procedures, we are taking proactive measures to ensure we maintain our stock and prevent any supply disruptions. This is being done to ensure that any staff member who requires an N95 respirator mask has one readily available.
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