Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy

Applicable to: All Health Service Providers

Description: The purpose of the Identification and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in the Clinical Setting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Policy is to provide advice on the appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to assist in the prevention of patient to patient or patient to staff member transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Western Australia (WA) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional guidance is provided in Coronavirus Disease – 2019 (COVID-19) Infection Prevention and Control in Western Australian Healthcare Facilities, Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) National Guidelines for Public Health Units and Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019) (external site).

The intent of the Policy is to ensure:

  • PPE requirements are appropriate to the extent of community transmission in WA during the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • staff members are trained in the use of PPE so it is used appropriately and supplies are not compromised
  • staff members are provided with PPE that is appropriate for use and provides them with adequate protection.

The use of PPE is only effective when used in conjunction with other prevention strategies as outlined in the Department of Health Minimising the risk of infectious respiratory disease transmission in the context of COVID-19 – The hierarchy of controls.

The advice contained in this Policy, has been modified over time to adapt to the emergence of data on transmissibility and advent of more highly transmissible variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This Policy will be subject to change if sustained community transmission is detected in WA.

The use of PPE for other infective illnesses requiring transmission-based precautions is not outlined in this Policy. Please refer to existing policies and procedures for other situations.

This Policy is a mandatory requirement under the Public Health Policy Framework pursuant to section 26(2)(c) of the Health Services Act 2016.

Date of effect: 20 April 2020

Policy Framework

Related documents

Supporting information