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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Find personal protective equipment guidance and resources.

Page updated: July 30, 2021 1 p.m.


PPE guidelines changes

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health issued a personal protective equipment (PPE) allocation framework to guide health authorities in making decisions in allocating PPE.

Our PPE stockpiles remain in good shape. As of April 2021, B.C. shifted to stage one of the PPE allocation framework. For our clinical settings, this means that extended use of medical masks and eye protection is acceptable, but re-use of single-use, disposable PPE is no longer required.

PPE standard

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) has developed a single standard – COVID-19: Personal Protective Equipment Use During the Pandemic – to provide consistent guidance to PHSA’s clinical staff and physicians on PPE use.

The standard outlines information on:
  • Routine practices 
  • Point-of-care risk assessments 
  • Details on the use of eye protection, gloves, gowns, medical masks and respirators 
  • Specific practices for working directly with patients/clients or in environments where there are patients/clients 
Staff and physicians must conduct a point-of-care risk assessment before every patient/client interaction to assess the likelihood of exposing themselves and/or others to COVID-19 and help inform the selection of the appropriate actions and required PPE to minimize the risk of exposure.

PHSA’s programs and services provide care to unique populations. Local PPE considerations and procedural documents may apply. Please consult your local Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) representative if you have questions.

Related PPE resources:

N95 fit testing

Please refer to the Fit Testing & Respirators page on POD for more information. 

If you have any questions about fit testing, please contact workplacehealth@phsa.ca.

Masks

In alignment with the provincial direction, PHSA developed a policy for its health care facilities. Masks are currently required in our health care facilities. For our non-clinical facilities, we follow the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer for indoor settings.

It is important to remember that masks are one part of the hierarchy of infection prevention and exposure control measures for COVID-19. As such, masks should continue to be thought of as supplemental to, and not replacements for other measures on the hierarchy including physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection, staying home when sick, and good hand hygiene. These measures must continue, even if you have been immunized against COVID-19.

The BCCDC website also provides guidance about wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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