With the rapid growth in the presence of COVID-19 in the community, and the growing number of outbreaks within healthcare facilities, the risk of exposure for healthcare workers (HCW) is climbing and some screening mechanisms are no longer adequate. SUN has learned that changes are being made to personal protection equipment guidelines and precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to HCWs.
Effective immediately for all Critical Care/ICU settings ONLY:
- For all patients (COVID-19 positive, screened positive, and screened negative patients), full droplet-contact positive precautions (face shield/fitted goggles, mask, gown, and gloves) are required, including N95 masks for all AGMPs and during settle times.
- For all COVID-19 positive and screened positive patients, N95 masks should also be considered for the duration of intubation, and any procedures deemed high risk for ventilator circuit disconnection based on point-of-care risk assessment.
This change is effective as of November 29 in all critical care environments. These changes are being implemented in:
- Emergency Rooms and pre-hospital emergency medical services today (Monday, November 30)
- Operative Rooms (OR) and non-OR procedural areas on Tuesday, December 1, and
- Inpatient units and non-acute care locations (long-term care and community settings) where AGMPS are performed on Wednesday, December 2.
WHAT SUN IS DOING
To ensure the safety of all HCWs, SUN is advocating for the SHA to follow the precautionary principle where N95 masks are required – not considered - for the duration of intubation and any procedures that may be high risk for ventilator circuit disconnection based on point-of-care risk assessment, for all COVID-19 positive, screened positive, or suspected positive patients.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
- Review PPE Guidelines for your area (see links provided below).
- Watch for information from the Employer regarding PPE and other safety procedures/policies.
- Talk with your Manager regarding access to N95 masks.
- Conduct a Point of Care Risk Assessment (PCRA) to determine the appropriate PPE based on your professional judgment.
Contact your Local OHS Representative or Duty Roster at SUN Provincial if you have questions or concerns.
SHA PPE GUIDELINES
- CV-19 G0006 Continuous and Extended PPE Use Guidelines Acute Care (July 7, 2020)
- CV-19 G0007 Continuous and Extended PPE Use Guidelines Continuing Care (July 7, 2020)
- CV-19 G0008 Continuous and Extended PPE Use Guidelines Testing Assessment Sites and Mobile Testing (August 5, 2020)
- CV-19 G0009 Continuous and Extended PPE Use Guidelines Home Care (July 7, 2020)
- CV-19 G0010 Continuous and Extended PPE Use Guidelines Outpatient Settings/Primary Care (July 7, 2020)
- CV-19 A0020 Point of Care Risk Assessment Algorithm (November 16, 2020)
- CV-19 G0031 Point of Care Risk Assessment Guidelines (November 16, 2020)
- CV-19 G0038 PPE Guidelines When Caring for Patients/Residents Confirmed to Have COVID-19 in Designated Units/Cohorted Spaces (July 7, 2020)