Beginning Thursday, it will be mandatory for health-care workers deployed in any COVID-19 “hot zone” in Quebec to wear an N95 face mask or equipment that offers even superior protection.
Quebec’s work health safety board (CNESST) announced Tuesday that the regulation was based on a new scientific understanding of the coronavirus gleaned over the course of the pandemic, including the increased transmission threat posed by its variants.
Use of the equipment will be mandatory in all Quebec hospitals, clinics, family medicine groups, external clinics, rehabilitation centres, long-term care centres, seniors residences and similar residences.
The CNESST notes that personnel must ensure the masks are properly fitted.
Quebec Labour Minister Jean Boulet welcomed the announcement. In his view, it will allow personnel to provide care in hot zones with equipment deemed to respond to the highest standards of performance, protection and quality.
The CNESST decision is based on recommendations from a provincial committee monitoring in-hospital infections as well as the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.