Face covering guidance for residents

January 11, 2022

In response to the highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, the following changes to resident face covering procedures are required.

As soon as possible but no later than January 17, 2022, all residents shall be provided a minimum of two (2) disposable procedure masks per week to replace the cloth PIA masks previously distributed.

Effective January 17, 2022, all residents shall be offered one (1) unaltered N-95 respirator per week, which they can choose to wear for enhanced protection. The N-95 respirator or procedure mask are preferred, rather than the cloth face covering.

On a case-by-case basis, if the patient’s primary clinician determines that the potential for self- harm associated with being provided access to an N-95 outweighs the benefit, the clinician may either exempt the patient from being offered an N-95 or authorize them to be provided an N-95 without a metal nose clip.

Residents who have work assignments that include indoor contact with others are required to wear N-95 in those settings and shall be provided N-95 replacements at the beginning of each work shift and as often as needed or requested.

Wardens and CEOs shall work together to develop the optimal distribution process for the procedure masks and N-95. The distribution process shall include the ability for residents to receive replacement masks prior to the next distribution interval if their supply is lost, stolen, damaged or soiled.

We will periodically review this guidance and modify it as necessary based upon the status of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

If you have any question or concerns regarding this directive or if there are housing differences please elevate them to your respective Associate Director or Regional Health Care Executive.