DATE: May 25, 2021
TO: North Country EMS Agencies
FROM: Ann Smith, FDRHPO NCEMSPA Director
RE: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Our office has been receiving multiple questions regarding changes to personal protective equipment (PPE) in light of mask mandate changes for fully vaccinated people. Below you find summaries of guidance that will help you navigate the multiple directives.
The no-mask mandate recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html)
For related information for healthcare settings, visit Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-after-vaccination.html)
Use of Personal Protective Equipment
- Recommendations for use of personal protective equipment by HCP remain unchanged.
Fully vaccinated refers to a person who is:
- ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine; there is currently no post-vaccination time limit on fully vaccinated status
- This guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. This guidance can also be applied to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g. AstraZeneca/Oxford).
Unvaccinated refers to a person who does not fit the definition of “fully vaccinated,” including people whose vaccination status is not known, for the purposes of this guidance.
Healthcare settings refers to places where healthcare is delivered and includes, but is not limited to, acute care facilities, long term acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home healthcare, vehicles where healthcare is delivered (e.g., mobile clinics), and outpatient facilities, such as dialysis centers, physician offices, and others.
In general, fully vaccinated HCP should continue to wear source control while at work. However, fully vaccinated HCP could dine and socialize together in break rooms and conduct in- person meetings without source control or physical distancing. If unvaccinated HCP are present, everyone should wear source control and unvaccinated HCP should physically distance from others. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-after-vaccination.html)
Additional Guidance from NYS Bureau of EMS and Trauma Systems policy statements that has not changed
DAILY MONITORING AND RISK REDUCTION:
Please refer to NYS DOH Bureau of EMS Policies 20-02 and 20-07 for the following risk reduction procedures:
- ALL AGENCIES: Screen/Survey Providers at start of every shift (or directly prior to responding to a call for a volunteer or every 12 hours).
- ALL PROVIDERS: Pre-screen patients from 6 feet away.
- ALL PROVIDERS: Limit exposure risk by using a single surgical mask (unless damaged or soiled) whenever possible during EMS shift.
- EMS Providers must don proper PPE (N95 respirator, eye-shield or goggles, gloves, and gown)while a nebulizer treatment is administered and appropriately disinfect the ambulance after the transport has concluded.
- PPE (gloves, gowns, N95 respirator, and eye protection) MUST be donned prior to any procedure with the potential for aerosolization. This includes nebulization, intubation procedures, and CPAP, particularly when administering nebulized medications. Even when using the alternative devices and procedures below to limit misting into the environment, the use of full PPE, including an N95 respirator is required.