OSHA Emphasizes Source Control for Long-Term Care Facilities
New respiratory protection guidance (PDF) issued on Oct. 30, 2020, by OSHA focuses on the use of respirators to help protect workers in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities from occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The guidance recommends source control measures for everyone in healthcare facilities due to the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission of COVID-19. OSHA urges healthcare providers to wear source control products or devices at all times inside long-term care facilities.
OSHA outlines several source control products and devices, some of which are also considered personal protective equipment. The guidance discusses cloth face coverings and facemasks, which are not considered PPE for the wearer but can assist in source control. According to OSHA, FDA-cleared or authorized surgical masks are preferred over cloth face coverings for healthcare workers because they provide both source control and protection for the wearer.