Determining which PPE to Wear When

Shared Health has now developed three risk zones” based on patient COVID risk factors with different PPE requirements:

  • The Red Zone involves providing care to known COVID-19 patients
  • The Orange Zone involves contact with suspect COVID-19 patients
  • The Green Zone involves contact with non-COVID-19 patients.

The PPE you need depends on two key factors: the zone” or risk level of your patient encounters and the care setting you work in.

For all care settings, the new guidelines suggest:

  • Green Zones (Non-COVID patients) require procedure masks and eye protection. Gloves and gowns are only required if a point of care assessment determines a risk (e.g. MRSA). N95 respirators are only required for AGMPs or clinical concern for another airborne pathogen (e.g. TB)
  • Orange Zone and Red Zones (suspect or confirmed COVID patients) now require N95 masks, though providers can opt to wear a procedure mask instead for non-AMGP patient care. Eye protection is required as well. Gloves and gowns should be worn as per routine precautions and additional procedures.

You can review the specific PPE recommendations for your care setting for green, orange and red zones.

What are Routine Precautions?

The existing infection prevention and control guidelines are still in effect and should continue to be used for patient encounters in the Green Zone (no COVID-19 suspected):

These precautions include identifying patients with respiratory symptoms and keeping a safe distance (6 feet) until you can wear appropriate personal protective equipment. In most cases, this involves a surgical/​procedure mask and possibly other equipment, depending on your point of care assessment.

How do I safely put on PPE?

You can review the videos for donning and doffing for advice. It is recommended that you review this ahead of needing to wear PPE.

Doffing, or removing PPE, is an exposure risk. New provincial guidelines now recommend continuing to wear masks and eye protection across multiple patients unless it is wet, soiled or damaged.

What if I have concerns about how the PPE advice applies to the procedures that I perform?

You should raise these concerns with Occupational Health. If you do not get satisfactory answer, please contact Doctors Manitoba.

How do I safely extend the use of PPE or clean PPE?

Shared Health has offered tips for the extended use of PPE, such as discomfort with gloves and other issues.

Last updated
January 6, 2021