[Feb. 19, 2020] It is the position of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions that in the event of an outbreak of any new virus, all nurses and frontline health care workers at risk (based on an organizational infectious disease risk assessment) with the potential for exposure, and/or who are caring for a suspected or confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus patient, be protected using a fit-tested NIOSH-approved N-95 respirator at a minimum. The N-95 respirator is designed to protect against 95% of airborne particulates free of oil when tested against a 0.3-micron particle.

Furthermore, the CFNU recommends that any worker who will be exposed to aerosol-generating medical procedures must be protected and trained on use, and donning and doffing, of a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) and provided with full-body protection.

This standard should apply for all viruses which are known or unknown, or suspected to be airborne, or can be aerosolized or any virus where there is uncertainty about the transmission route or clinical severity.

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