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Mount Baker Personal Protective equipment (PPE) Guidelines


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Sequence for Putting On & Removing PPE


Low Risk Transmission

General educational setting with 6-foot distancing. PPE includes:

  • Cloth masks for students and staff, with 6-foot distancing.


Medium Risk Transmission

Small group instructional setting with 6-foot distancing mostly maintained, but with job tasks that required sustained several minutes of 6-foot distance broken several times a day without sneeze guards or other mitigations (e.g., students with disabilities needing one-to-one support, speech/language/behavioral support, or articulation therapy). PPE includes:

  • Students wear at least a cloth mask.
  • Staff wear at least a face shield AND a cloth mask, disposable dust mask, KN95, or other non-approved, foreign-system NIOSH–style filtering face piece respirator, or non-FDA approved procedure mask.

When working in close proximity with someone who may not be able to consistently wear at least a cloth face covering, best practices ALSO include:

  • Wearing a disposable gown that is discarded after each close interaction;
  • frequent hand washing;
  • and reminders to not touch face.

In addition, and while it is likely the exception, there may be job tasks that require sustained close contact with students. For those job tasks, staff may be considered HIGH TRANSMISSION RISK. In these situations, staff should wear at least:

  • Industrial use N95, R95, or P95 facemask, or other foreign-system non-NIOSH approved filtering facepiece respirator. 

If an employer cannot reasonably obtain an approved filtering facepiece respirator, then an acceptable alternative is:

  • A face shield plus an FDA-approved KN95 mask, dust mask, or procedural mask.

Health and Isolation Room | Extremely High Risk

Each school facility is required to plan for temporarily isolating any staff or student who appears symptomatic or indicates a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, or new loss of taste or smell.

Only designated, trained staff should interact with people showing symptoms of COVID-19. At least one designated, trained staff member should be available at all times, in case there is a need to isolate a symptomatic employee or student.

When providing care for anyone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection, personnel who need to be within 6 feet of a sick colleague or student must be provided appropriate PPE (including gloves, a gown, a face shield or goggles, and an N95 or equivalent or higher-level respirator or a surgical facemask and face shield if a respirator is not available).

If an employer cannot reasonably obtain an approved filtering facepiece respirator, then a face shield or eye goggles plus an FDA-approved KN95 mask, dust mask, or procedural mask is an acceptable alternative. 

Staff serving in these roles would be considered an Extremely High Transmission Risk, requiring:

  • FDA-approved surgical mask or healthcare N95 filtering facepiece respirator, or elastomeric respirator with particulate filters. Tight-fitting respirators (healthcare N95) must be fit-tested and the wearer must be clean-shaven. Powered-air purifying respirator (PAPR) with particulate filter may be used with no fit testing for loose–fitting models.
  • When feasible, students or staff with COVID-19 should also wear an FDA-approved surgical N95 or surgical mask.

If an employer cannot reasonably obtain an approved filtering facepiece respirator, then a face shield or eye goggles plus an FDA-approved KN95 mask, dust mask, or procedural mask is an acceptable alternative.

However, If the interaction with ill students involves students without masks, particularly for very close contact (3 feet), or if there is an additional reason for concern (aerosol-generating procedure or performing physical assistance would be likely), a surgical mask would not be sufficient.

If staff are simply watching over the students and can generally maintain physical distancing, then surgical masks are sufficient.

The MBSD asked for clarification from Kim at the Health Department regarding this last sentence, here is her response: “The however statement on page 18 refers to caring for someone who is ill. Per LNI, all schools need to set up Respiratory Protection Programs and try to procure PPE and get fit tested. But during that time you have alternatives. From a safety perspective, the alternatives are in line with CDC. CDC guidance for health care workers says medical surgical mask, face shield, gown, gloves to care for ill persons. Then fit tested N95 for aerosolizing procedures. I don’t think it would be safe to do any aerosolizing procedures at school (trach suctioning, nebulizer and peak flows) anyways. Seems LNI would consider pre-K and probably Kindergarten if inconsistent mask use and frequently breaking the 6-foot high risk. Child cares across the state have been using cloth face coverings since the mask order midsummer.”