30 March 2020 – PPE required for ambulance services and paramedics

Type of Intervention: Regulation
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Individual measures; Planning and strategy; Creation of or release of plans
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario Dr. David Williams

Overview: This directive is targeted to ambulance services and paramedics under the Ambulance Act, issued under Section 77.7 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. It stipulates required precautions that must be taken to protect health care worker health and safety, including paramedics, and the need to provide adequate personal protective equipment. The required precautions to be taken include performing point of care risk assessments before every patient interaction, use of contact and droplet precautions by paramedics with all suspected, presumed, or confirmed COVID-19 patients, and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment during the provision of an aerosol generating medical procedure, e.g. intubation.
Full details here: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/directives/ambulance_services_paramedics.pdf

Other links: 1 2
Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee
Source of Evidence or Justification: World Health Organisation, Sub-national governmental agency (Public Health Ontario)
Evidence/Justification: Cites WHO’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic virus (March 11, 2020) and potential severity of the illness. Also cites the spread of COVID-19 to Ontario, technical advice provided by Public Health Ontario on scientific recommendations regarding infection prevention and control measures for COVID-19 by the WHO as justification for the development of this directive and the required steps that must be implemented. Public Health Ontario and the WHO’s droplet and contact spread recommendations provide evidence for the need to provide an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for medical procedures where COVID-19 may become airborne. These recommendations also provide evidence for the requirement to secure an adequate supply of PPE for the duration of COVID-19 to protect health care workers.