COVID-19: Revised PPE guidance issued

COVID-19: Revised PPE guidance issued

April 2, 2020

Public Health England’s (PHE) updated guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), issued today, now recommends use of fluid-resistant surgical masks in pharmacies when working in an area with possible or confirmed cases, where pharmacy teams are unable to maintain 2 metres social distance from the patient. The guidance for community pharmacy staff is included in Table 3 of the guidance –  Recommended PPE for ambulance, paramedics, first responders and pharmacists.

The updated guidance reflects the fact that coronavirus is now widespread in the community, meaning clinicians are more likely to see patients with the virus, some of whom may have minimal or no symptoms. Despite advice to patients with COVID-19 symptoms that they should stay away from pharmacies, some people are not following that guidance and pharmacy team members are potentially being exposed to possible or confirmed cases.

It is important to note that while pharmacy staff may now choose to wear masks in line with the revised guidance, it is imperative that social distancing and self-isolation (where appropriate) continue to be practised and hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing, continue to be followed.


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