26 Nov 2020

Nurses ask 'please explain' over N95 mask guidelines

From Checkpoint, 5:07 pm on 26 November 2020

Nurses are seeking a please explain over new Ministry of health guidelines for the use of protective masks in managed isolation and quarantine saying its not clear whether they go far enough.

Nurses working in MIQ had threatened to walk off the job if they do not get better specialised masks, known as N95s, to wear when dealing with returnees, rather than simple surgical masks that are also used in MIQ.

The new Ministry protocol say N95 masks, which need to be specially fitted, are now recommended when 2 metres physical distance cannot be maintained when dealing with a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19 - in a guest room, for example.

Kate Weston from the NZ Nurses Organisation says they did not get to see the guideline in advance and she's not sure whether the Ministry considers everyone in isolation a probable case, but they should.