#199 Guidance on the use of PPE by health care workers
11 August 2020
The Australian Government Department of Health has provided updated guidance on the use of PPE by health care workers in areas with significant community transmission.
In geographic areas with significant community transmission of COVID-19 (as defined by jurisdictional public health units) and in specified clinical settings, health care workers may need to take extra precautions above those usually indicated for standard and transmission-based precautions.
All PPE should be used in line with the principles in the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019), acknowledging the unique circumstance of COVID-19.
Health care workers who use particulate filter respirators (PFRs) such as P2 or N95 respirators, must be trained in their correct use, including how to perform fit-checking and safe removal. Unless PFRs are used correctly, their effectiveness will be compromised and the risk of infection (to the wearer) increased. PFRs with valves should not be used, as there is a risk of exhaled air, from wearers who are infected, containing viral particles.
Routine clinical care
in geographic areas with significant community transmission of COVID-19:
- In all clinical settings, use standard precautions, (including eye protection) AND wear a surgical mask.
- For routine non-hospital care and hospital care of individual patients with suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19, who are in quarantine or have acute respiratory symptoms, use contact and droplet precautions, including eye protection.
See here for more information.