Health care workers assigned to care or living environments may now have the right to wear an “N-95” type mask in the context of an uncontrolled outbreak of COVID-19, according to new recommendations issued by the INSPQ.
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These new recommendations were issued Wednesday morning by the Committee on Nosocomial Infections of Quebec (CINQ) and take into account the risk of exposure to aerosols.
To justify this revision, the CINQ took into account in particular the risk of transmission of the virus during close and prolonged contact between people and the increased risk in confined spaces, inadequately ventilated, with a high density of occupants and when the exposure time is prolonged.
The committee concludes that, despite “rigorous compliance” with the measures in place, an outbreak of COVID-19 can lead to a situation where “the aerosol concentration of SARS-CoV-2 is potentially higher.”
The use of “N-95” masks in an uncontrolled COVID-19 outbreak should not be taken lightly, according to the opinion, and “should be viewed as a temporary additional measure in exceptional circumstances. It is essential to ensure that the PCI measures essential for the management of an outbreak are in place and rigorously followed, ”it read.
Access to “N-95” type masks has long been demanded by healthcare workers and by several unions from different care and living environments.
Until now, this equipment was only recommended for medical procedures that generate aerosols.
More details to come …