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COVID-19 PPE Guide

The most current information available indicates that the COVID-19 virus is most commonly spread when in close contact with an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets;
  • close, prolonged personal contact; and
  • touching an infected area, then touching mouth, nose or eyes before washing hands.

For many workplaces, this means that no personal protective equipment (PPE) is required. Instead, workplaces should implement social distancing measures, regular handwashing, and enhanced cleaning of surfaces that are touched often.

If you are caring for a person with a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19, droplet and contact precautions should be used with the appropriate PPE. The PPE includes gown, gloves, surgical mask, and eye protection (face shield or goggles – safety glasses are not adequate). Click here for details on putting on and taking off PPE.

When an Aerosol Generating Medical Procedure (AGMP) is used, or when workers are exposed to high velocity splashes, sprays or splatters of blood or bodily fluids in an operational setting, PPE must include a fitted N-95 respirator or Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR). A PAPR may be warranted when an N-95 mask cannot be successfully fitted. The chart below provides examples of Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures.


AGMPs Requiring Respiratory Protection for 2019-nCoV Patients Under Investigation

Autopsies involving respiratory tissues

CPR with Bag valve mask ventilation

Bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) Intubation and extubation procedures

Nasopharyngeal aspirates, washes, and scoping*

Nebulized therapy

Open airway suctioning

Sputum Induction *

* Nasopharyngeal (NP) and throat swabs can be performed using contact and droplet precautions with procedural mask and eye protection, and do not require the use of an N95 respirator.

Due to a current shortage of personal protective equipment, workers are encouraged to use PPE only if exposed to suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19.  For information on most commonly asked questions, visit: