April 2, 2020

Joint Commission issues statement on face masks from home

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

The Joint Commission on March 31 issued a statement saying it supports letting healthcare staff bring their own standard face masks or respirators from home when their facilities cannot provide access to protective equipment that is equivalent to their exposure risk, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In taking this position, the Joint Commission says it recognizes that:

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  • Hospitals must conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect staff who perform high-risk procedures.
  • The degree to which privately-owned masks and respirators will increase protection is uncertain, but the balance of evidence is positive.
  • Joint Commission standards and requirements do not prohibit staff from using PPE brought from home.
  • Homemade masks are an extreme measure and should be used only when PPE of proven protective value is unavailable.


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