Children’s has updated the masking and eyewear guidelines in an effort to provide clarification. Please carefully review the following universal masking and eyewear guidelines and related FAQ for all Children’s faculty and staff. To obtain your universal mask protection, or if you did not receive your initial eyewear protection and are a clinical staff, please contact your direct supervisor. Please note that these guidelines are relevant at this moment in time. We fully expect that eyewear guidelines will need to evolve as the situation changes within our community. Changes will be communicated via email, The Pulse and on myChildren’s. Thank you for your compliance with these guidelines and for your commitment to providing a safe environment for Children’s patients, families and team members.
Employees are required to wear appropriate facemasks covering their nose and mouth at all times on Children’s property. This includes upon arriving and leaving the property, around the workplace, in common spaces and anytime away from their assigned non-clinical work space, as per ADM248 Epidemic Pandemic or Emergency Disaster Restrictions and Care Guidance 3-20 Policy.
You may remove your mask while at your assigned non-clinical workspace if you are able to maintain physical barriers or a seating arrangement per the forthcoming COVID-19 Guide for Employees. These plans are based upon CDC guidance. You must put your mask back on any time you move around the facility or are unable to maintain a social distance of 6 feet from others (e.g. patient/family approaches/enters your personal area).
Clinical areas (Locations where care or interaction with patients is occurring): Employees in clinical areas are required to wear a Children’s-approved health care grade mask (e.g. earloop, N-95, etc.).
Non-Clinical areas (cubicles, offices, cafeteria, etc.): While in non-clinical areas, employees are required to wear cloth, homemade or non-health care grade masks. If an employee is already wearing a health care grade mask, continued wear is approved per extended use guidelines.
Cleaning and disinfection should be completed according to Children’s guidelines.
Any employee entering a clinical, hospital or exam area for any amount of time is required to have protective eyewear on their person at all times. If a patient or family member comes within 6 feet of an employee, eyewear must be donned as per ADM248 Epidemic Pandemic or Emergency Disaster Restrictions and Care Guidance 3-20 Policy.
Cleaning and disinfection should be completed as per Children’s guidelines/recommendations. Please review Children’s universal eye protection document here. Read universal eyewear education sheet here.
Clinical areas (Location where care or interaction with patients is occurring): While in clinical areas, employees are required to have Children’s-approved health care grade, protective eyewear present at all times and wear when working/interacting or unable to maintain social distance of 6 feet from others. Independently purchased eye protection must meet ASNI certification guidelines. Refer to the attached infographic for more information on protective eyewear.
Non-Clinical areas (cubicles, offices, cafeteria, etc.): In non-clinical areas, employees are not required to wear protective eyewear; however, non-clinical employees need to obtain and don eyewear if they are entering clinical areas.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Does the universal mask policy apply to every member of the workforce working anywhere?
- Yes. Please note the differentiation of Personal Protective Equipment (mask/eyewear, etc.), required based upon clinical or non-clinical setting.
- Can I wear eyewear all the time while at Children’s (clinical or non-clinical settings)?
- Yes. If you wish to wear eyewear at all times, you may do so, as long as the eyewear meets the Children’s universal eye protection document standards.
- Should I wear my same mask or eyewear in/out of isolation rooms between patients that have been diagnosed with respiratory viruses such as RSV and bronchiolitis or are PUI/COVID-19 positive?
- Yes. Your Children’s-approved health care grade mask and eyewear should be used according to our extended use/re-use guidelines, which ensure careful and deliberate handling of a mask to prevent both self-contamination and cross-contamination.
- The goal of wearing this PPE is to protect the staff, not the patient.
- The only exception is COVID-19 patients requiring high risk and/or select aerosol-generating procedures that require Airborne Isolation and use of a N-95 mask.
- Do I need to change my mask/eyewear if I am performing a sterile procedure (i.e. central line placement, central line dressing change, etc.)?
- If the procedure kit has a mask in it, doff your current mask outside of the room and place it on a paper towel. For the procedure, utilize the mask provided in the sterile kit. When the procedure is complete, if the mask is not compromised, you may continue to wear the mask. If the mask is compromised, doff the mask and re-don the mask that is outside the room.
- If the procedure kit does not have a mask, continue to wear your current one (e.g. central line dressing kit).
- As we have limited masks to distribute, please ask families to step out of the room during all procedures where a mask would be necessary, if able.
- How can I eat or drink when I am wearing a mask?
- Eating is not permitted in clinical areas. If you are working in a clinical setting, follow the removal and re-use instructions as outlined in the “To Doff Earloop Mask” procedure, using a paper towel to save your mask for when you are finished eating.
- If you need to drink, ensure you are 6 feet away from others, perform hand hygiene, remove the mask following the “To Doff Earloop Mask” procedure and then replace your mask.
- Can staff gather in break rooms, the cafeteria and other places to eat and relax? If so, should they leave their masks on?
- To limit the number of people in a break room, consider staggering break times.
- Adhere to the same principles of social distancing when together in break rooms, conference rooms and other places.
- Social distancing means allowing 6 feet of distance from others.
- Take appropriate precautions for hand hygiene and refrain from touching the face.
- Masks can be taken off in such areas for eating and drinking when following social distancing guidelines.
- Should employees be wearing masks to/from home?
- Yes. Cloth masks have been provided for employees to use entering and exiting Children’s facilities and coming and going from work locations.
- Can non-clinical staff wear cloth, homemade or non-health care grade masks brought from home?
- Yes. Cloth masks are available for non-clinical staff if they do not have one at home; please request one from your supervisor if you need one.
- Should visitors be wearing masks?
- Yes. As part of the Universal Masking policy, all staff and visitors should wear a mask while on Children’s premises. Patients should wear masks at all times as appropriate for age/developmental level.
- Cloth, homemade or non-health care grade masks brought from home are encouraged for visitors and patients. This practice will be continually monitored and re-evaluated as circumstances evolve.