Originally approved March 2020
Our emergency care team is the front line in this crisis at a time when identifying those who may have COVID-19 is very challenging. Given the guidance from the CDC that droplet precautions recommend use of a face mask or surgical mask, ACEP believes that healthcare personnel in the emergency department (ED) and emergency medical services (EMS) should consider wearing a face mask or surgical mask during their entire shift if they are providing patient care, unless the mask becomes soiled and needs replacement. In order to preserve PPE, until the current shortages are reduced, healthcare personnel in the ED and EMS should consider wearing the same mask for the entire shift. We also understand that close contact during procedures or processes (including a physical examination) that generate potentially infectious aerosols requires a higher level of PPE that includes an N95 respirator.