OSHA Targets Healthcare Workers and Coronavirus

November 20, 2020

OSHA has issued respiratory protection guidance focused on protecting workers in nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities from occupational exposure to the coronavirus. The action marks the department’s latest step to ensure the availability of respirators.


Source-control measures are recommended for everyone in healthcare facilities, even if the wearer does not have symptoms of the coronavirus. The guidance describes various source-control measures, including cloth face coverings, face masks, and FDA-cleared or authorized surgical masks. Healthcare providers should wear source control products/devices at all times while inside a LTCF, including in break rooms or other spaces where they might encounter other people.


Healthcare providers who are in close contact with a resident with suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection must use a NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirator or equivalent or higher-level respirator, as required by OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard.

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