PPE clarification for ambulatory settings

As indicated in our current PPE guidelines, an N95 respirator with eye protection is required when caring for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. In all other instances, an isolation mask, KN95 mask, or N95 respirator may be worn at the discretion of the caregiver.

Given the rising number of cases in our community, in settings where patients are not able to be fully assessed or screened before being seen, patient-facing staff providing direct patient care may consider scaling up from an isolation mask to a fit-tested N95. When upgrading to an N95, eye protection would also be appropriate, particularly if the patients are not masked. The N95 can be worn continuously as source control until removed for any reason, then replaced with a new mask. See PPE toolkit for extended-use details.