Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements in Student Residences and Family Housing Units
With heightened concerns around communicable diseases brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, new personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements have been established for University of Guelph employees working in Student Residences and Family Housing Units. The new PPE requirements have been established in Appendix A, according to the following criteria to reduce worker exposure to potential sources of infectious agents and are based on Public Health Ontario’s Infection Prevention and Control for Clinical Office Practice, Risk Algorithm to Guide PPE Use:
- Disposable gloves are to be worn when there may be hand contact with a student’s skin or personal belongings such as clothing, bedding, or towels or when there is a risk of hand contact with surfaces or wastewater likely contaminated with human body fluids (e.g., blood, vomit, urine, feces, and saliva).
- A medical mask and eye protection are to be worn to protect mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth during activities in an occupied unit involving prolonged close contact with a student who may generate splashes or sprays of body fluids; and during cleaning or maintenance activities involving wastewater likely contaminated with human body fluids.
- Gowns are to be worn when protection is required against skin-to-skin contact with a student or skin exposure (other than hands) to splash or spray of wastewater likely contaminated with human body fluids.
- Additional PPE, including N95 respirators, eye protection and/or gowns, may be required by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), Student Wellness or Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) for certain situations based on various factors such as the presence of known or suspected cases of infectious diseases, mode of transmission of the infectious agent, severity of the disease, and community rate of transmission.
In addition to the PPE, practicing good hand hygiene is considered an important and effective measure to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer must continue to be practiced immediately before entering a unit, after leaving the unit, and during donning and doffing of PPE.