CDC Releases “Tightened” Guidance for Healthcare Workers on PPE for Ebola

On Oct. 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued detailed guidance on personal protective equipment to be used by healthcare workers entering the hospital room of an Ebola patient, including information on the types of PPE to be used and the procedures for donning and doffing PPE. According to CDC, the new guidance is based on lessons learned from the recent experiences of U.S. hospitals caring for Ebola patients and emphasizes the importance of training, practice, competence, and observation of workers in correct donning and doffing of PPE. 

Key principles in the new guidance include:
  • All healthcare workers must have received repeated training and have demonstrated competency in performing all Ebola-related infection control practices and procedures prior to working with Ebola patients.
  • Healthcare workers caring for Ebola patients should use PPE with full-body coverage to further reduce the risk of self-contamination.
  • The overall safe care of Ebola patients in a facility must be overseen by an on-site manager at all times.
  • Each step of every PPE donning/doffing procedure must be supervised by a trained observer to ensure proper completion of established PPE protocols.
Further topics addressed in the guidance are recommended administrative and environmental controls for healthcare facilities, training on the correct use of PPE, selection of PPE for healthcare workers, and recommended PPE for trained observers during PPE doffing.
Access the new guidance on CDC’s website at A fact sheet on the agency’s updated guidance is also available.
For more information, visit NIOSH’s Workplace Safety and Health Topic Web page on Ebola (, which lists resources for workers who may be exposed to the virus.
AIHA’s Ebola coverage and resources Web page ( also collects information for IHs, OEHS professionals, and the public, and is updated periodically.
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