Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19
Interim Guidance for Outpatient and Ambulatory Care Settings
April 16, 2021
*Cette information est seulement disponible en anglais.
To: Local Health System Partners
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Updated Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Outpatient Settings
As you are aware the Public Health Agency of Canada provides evidence-informed infection prevention and control (IPAC) guidance for the health sector. The following important updates have been made to the IPAC guidance for all outpatient and ambulatory care settings.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Medical masks are always recommended for staff and visitors
- Masks can be removed for breaks/meals, during which a minimum physical distance of 2 metres from others should be maintained, along with minimal numbers of unmasked individuals in any given space. Breaks or meals should occur in larger spaces and at staggered times.
- Eye protection (e.g., full face shields), in addition to medical masks, for the full duration of shifts is recommended for all staff working in patient care areas, based on local epidemiology.
- Medical masks are recommended to be worn by all patients (where tolerated*). They may be removed for provision of care (e.g., physical examination or diagnostic testing).
- Staff, visitors and patients must have access to hand hygiene supplies and no-touch receptacles at point of use/care for disposable of paper towels and other non-reusable supplies (i.e. masks and other PPE).
- Droplet and Contact Precautions (which includes wearing gloves, a gown, a medical mask and eye protection) should be implemented (at minimum) during encounters with patients who are considered exposed to or suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19; substitution of an N95 or equivalent respirator in place of a medical mask may occur based on a staff point-of-care risk assessment (PCRA).
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) should be properly installed and regularly inspected and maintained
Detailed information on the recommended IPAC measures in outpatient and ambulatory care settings is available at : https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/guidance-documents/interim-guidance-outpatient-ambulatory-care-settings.html
* Masks should not be used for patients who have difficulty breathing or are unable to remove the mask on their own (e.g., due to decreased level of consciousness, physical ability, young age, mental illness, or cognitive impairment). Inability to wear mask should not impact level of care received. In these instances, maximizing the distance between the patient and others (minimum 2 metres) is recommended.
Please contact the Control of Infectious Disease program at 705.522.9200, ext. 718 for further information on COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures.
Original Signed By
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
NOTE: All Advisory Alerts are found on our website.
This item was last modified on April 16, 2021