Frequently asked questions—N95 mask fit testing and expanded use during aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs)

Where should I wear an N95?
Updated on 09/29/2021 at 12:51 pm

All staff, regardless of vaccination status, who care for a patient with COVID-19 or a person under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19, as well as those performing an aerosol-generating procedure (AGP), will be required to wear an N95 respirator. This guidance applies to both the inpatient and outpatient setting.

N95 respirators will be readily available on your unit or in your clinic. You must be fit to a specific size of N95 respirator.

View a list of AGPs here.

NOTE: This guidance applies to both the inpatient and outpatient setting.

Why are all frontline, direct care staff being asked to use N95 masks during aerosol-generating procedures?
Updated on 12/02/2020 at 5:19 pm

Due to the diligent and tireless work of our supply chain team, our supply of N95 masks is now stable enough to allow inclusion and regular use of N95 masks during AGPs. This stable supply of N95s allows us to expand usage and consistency of these masks across all clinical areas for frontline, direct care staff to during aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). (View a list of AGPs here.)

Where do I get an N95 mask?
Updated on 12/02/2020 at 5:20 pm

Stocking locations may differ unit to unit. Please ask your local leadership where you can find an N95 in your area.

How do I find my size of respirator?
Updated on 12/02/2020 at 5:20 pm
How do I get fit tested to an N95 respirator?
Updated on 12/02/2020 at 5:20 pm
  1. First, complete the required OSHA survey in ReadySet
  2. Schedule a fit testing with the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC). You can do this by calling UEHC at 319-356-3631 to schedule your 15-to-20-minute appointment. UEHC is located at 1097-1 Boyd Tower, at UI Hospitals & Clinics (Elevator A, Level 1). Hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Why do I need to be fit tested for an N95?
Updated on 12/02/2020 at 5:21 pm

N95 masks require fit testing to ensure they are most effective. An unfitted N95 mask offers no better protection than a surgical or isolation mask.

What are aerosol-generating procedures?
Updated on 12/02/2020 at 5:22 pm
What if I am assigned and fitted to use a CAPR, rather than an N95?
Updated on 12/02/2020 at 5:23 pm

For those who are currently fitted to use a CAPR, CAPRs should only be used in COVID-19 positive patient circumstances. If you are participating in an AGP with a patient who does not have COVID-19, you should either wear a medical-grade face mask, or someone else who is fitted to an N95 may perform the procedure in your place.

For the CAPR disposable lenses, you should continue cleaning these as you have done. You will not discard these after each use.

It is safe to perform an aerosol-generating procedure (AGP) without an N95 on a patient who does not have COVID-19.