The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared updated recommendations on March 10. The guidance states that facemasks are an acceptable alternative to respirators when the supply chain is constrained. The guidance prioritizes the use of respirators for procedures that are likely to generate aerosols and synthesizes currently available data in the US, as well as considerations for designating entire units within a facility to care for known and suspected COVID-19 patients.
|Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks||3/17|
|Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Eye Protection||3/17|
|Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Isolation Gowns||3/17|
|Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators||4/2|
|Release of Stockpiled N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators Beyond the Manufacturer-Designated Shelf Life||3/6|
|PPE Burn Rate Calculator: A spreadsheet-based model that provides information for health care facilities to plan and optimize the use of PPE.||4/7|
|Decontamination and Reuse of Filtering Facepiece Respirators||4/9|
|Use Personal Protective Equipment When Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Suspected COVID Fact Sheet||3/30|
|Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE and Equipment||4/22|
|Considerations for Optimizing the Supply of Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs)||4/19|
|Strategies for Conservation of Respiratory PPE: Outlines seven strategies that can be used to conserve respiratory PPE; provides links to other conservation resources, and a chart comparing four kinds of commonly used respirators.||3/4|
|Health Advisory #8: Geared toward health care workers and addresses managing PPE needs, PPE stockpile supplies, and COVID-19 testing criteria and infection control. To preserve PPE for health care workers, DOHMH is strongly urging health care facilities to immediately stop testing non-hospitalized patients for COVID-19 unless test results will impact the clinical management of the patient.||3/20|
|Information on Strategic National Stockpile Ventilator Features: Provides hospitals with background information on ventilators that may be distributed from the Strategic National Stockpile.||3/25|
|Health Alert #9: Conserve all PPE: Asks that all facilities immediately employ PPE conservation measures recommended by DOHMH and CDC.||4/1|
|Face Coverings: Frequently Asked Questions||4/2|
|Strategies for Reuse and Extended Use of PPE During COVID-19 Outbreak||4/6|
|Health Alert #10: Reminds health care personnel of face mask policies, testing swab conservation, and the protocol for reporting COVID-19-related deaths through eVital.||4/11|
|Surge Capacity and Health Care Worker Protective Clothing During COVID-19 Care||5/24|
Recommendations for Modification of Ventilators
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued nonbinding recommendations on March 22 to help increase availability of ventilators and their accessories as well as other respiratory devices during COVID-19. This letter provides recommendations for health care providers and facilities, based on the guidance, about using devices on patients who develop respiratory compromise from COVID-19 or other respiratory disorders.
FDA Enforcement Policies
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s webinar today described the enforcement policies for face masks, respirators, gowns, and gloves. The webinar also detailed the emergency use authorizations for non-National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved disposable filtering facepiece respirators, NIOSH-approved air purifying respirators, and N95 respirator decontamination during the public health emergency. FDA is issuing this guidance to expand the availability of surgical apparel and particulate-filtering facepiece respirators for health care professionals and general-use face masks for the general public during the pandemic. The webinar slides are available here and links to the guidance documents are below:
- Enforcement Policy for Face Masks and Respirators During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (Revised)
- Enforcement Policy for Gowns, Other Apparel, and Gloves During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency
Dynamic Ventilator Reserve
The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced a public-private effort to distribute existing ventilators to high-need areas. AHA will manage an online inventory of ventilators and associated supplies that one hospital or health system can lend to others in the nation. Providers in need will be able to access this virtual inventory as needed. Hospitals and health systems seeking to participate in the virtual network can contact the AHA at 800-424-4301 for more information.
The HealthEquip App is a free app that matches US hospitals treating COVID-19 patients and in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) with available donations for those supplies. The app is provided by a coalition that includes Microsoft, the AHA, UPS, Kaiser Permanente, Goodwill, Merit Solutions, and consulting firm Kearney. The AHA is sharing this app with hospitals through its 100 Million Mask Challenge as a way to help facilitate a more efficient means of distributing critically needed PPE to frontline health care workers.