UCHealth Masking and Facial HairOct 29, 2021
N95 respirators are required for staff and providers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 undergoing aerosol generating procedures (AGP) or on 6L or more of oxygen. Given the current positivity rate, N95s are also required during the care of all patients undergoing high-risk aerosol generating procedures including intubation, extubation, CPR and procedures involving the nose, oropharynx and respiratory tract, and any AGP in procedural and surgical spaces.
For people with facial hair, it is important to consider the seal of the mask when choosing a N95 respirator. Skin free of stubble and hair is needed to safely wear a disposable N95 mask (such as a duckbill or 3M). The CDC has provided guidance on what types of facial hair are acceptable to wear with an elastomeric or half-mask face respirators. For those with substantial facial hair, a PAPR is required. While we have acquired a significant number of PAPRs these remained a limited resource.