N95 respirators (or PAPRs) continue to be required for direct care of patients on Airborne (e.g., tuberculosis, measles) or Special Airborne Contact (e.g., suspected or confirmed COVID infection) precautions. Additionally, the CDC recommends that healthcare workers in areas where there is moderate to substantial community transmission of COVID-19 use N95 respirators when performing procedures that are high-risk for generating aerosols, since healthcare workers in facilities with moderate to substantial community transmission are more likely to encounter asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients who may be COVID-19 positive. This can include patients who tested negative during their pre-procedure test, but then develop symptoms in subsequent days. To accommodate these recommendations, Duke has made additions to the recommended PPE for staff in perioperative and procedural areas where high-risk aerosol-generating procedures are performed. This document has been updated to include two additional types of N95 respirators.
Additionally, to ensure availability of N95 respirators when needed, DUHS has deployed new models of N95s to certain care areas. Staff should use the N95 respirator model that is available at their location and per instructions of their local leadership. We have answered several frequently asked questions and highlighted key features of the different types of N95 respirators in the table below. Updated 05.28.21.