An update on PPE access (which remains good) and why we don't offer KN95s

N 95 mask sized for Caregiver News

While the national supply shortage continues to cause disruptions in various industries, Intermountain has adequate supplies of our approved personal protective equipment (PPE) for the entire organization. We’ve purchased additional N95s and PAPRs with hoods to support the surge needs for patients with COVID-like illnesses.


When COVID-like illness is a risk to the caregiver, OSHA and the Intermountain Respiratory Protection Committee endorse the use of N95s or PAPRs to ensure adequate protection. OSHA and our Respiratory Protection Committee have determined that KN95s are not adequate for COVID care and aren’t rated for clinical use.


While some health departments are using KN95s, Intermountain isn’t adding KN95s to our approved PPE supplies for our caregivers while at work. This decision was made for several reasons, including the great variability in fit, quality, and fabric among the various brands of KN95s. Intermountain won’t be ordering KN95s or making them available to caregivers. You can wear a KN95 of your own while at work, but a surgical mask must be worn over the KN95 in clinical settings.The CDC provides more guidance and caution about KN95s.

Who develops our PPE guidelines
? The Respiratory Protection Committee, a multidisciplinary team that includes members from Industrial Hygiene, Employee Health, Infection Prevention, Supply Chain, and Clinical Medicine. This team is focused on both caregiver and patient safety by ensuring that Intermountain has the best PPE products. This committee will continue to monitor our PPE guidelines as further variants of COVID-19 arise, new CDC or OSHA guidelines are drafted, or new products become available.

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