The secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Tuesday visited nursing homes to implement measures for the use and distribution of personal protective equipment to protect workers.
Because "residents of long-term care facilities are highly susceptible to COVID-19," the department "has determined that each care facility must develop, implement and follow a plan to distribute and use PPE," according to the order.
The state specifically states that each facility must develop, implement and follow policies and procedures that provide PPE procurement and distribution to all staff by August 27, 2020. Worm failure and compliance have been a nationwide problem, according to workplace safety experts.
Policies and procedures must " include at least the distribution of respiratory protection to staff providing direct patient care to COVID-1
Respiratory protection distributed by each facility must be National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health approved particulate filter respirators, or if not available, food protection approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including through an emergency use Authorization as required.
The respiratory protection distribution must take place before the start of employment and the respiratory protection must be replaced as soon as possible if the facility is notified by an employee that their mask has become dirty, damaged or otherwise ineffective, the order says.
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