Thanks for your response!
We have transitioned to asking patients to wear cloth masks when in the community on walks, etc while maintaining good distance from others. We typically would have recommended surgical masks for these outdoor activities, but we just don't have the supplies to give to patients. We are not giving any masks to caregivers and are asking them to solely use cloth masks. The patients are given a fresh surgical mask to put on when they enter the clinical center, as our policy across the board. They are being educated about hand washing before and after touching/removing their mask to allow for longer re-use.
The gloves are for the caregiver to assist in handling of hazardous drugs, but we don't have a shortage yet on gloves.
If it is helpful to anyone else, this is the education document we put together for the patients, after discussion with Hospital Epidemiology, Material Management, Nursing, Transplanters, and the Patient Advocate:
If you enter the Clinical Center wearing a mask, you will be asked to take it off and you will be provided a new one. If you are traveling to the Clinical Center in your personal car or walking from on campus housing, you may wear a cloth mask to the Clinical Center, at which time you will be given a surgical mask.
You may use your disposable surgical mask throughout the day or even re-used for several if it has been gently used for an hour or so a day. To keep it clean, wash your hands before removing. Remove the mask by grasping the ear loops. Wash your hands again after removing the mask. Discard a mask if it becomes wet or soiled.
Do not lower your mask when talking.
For outdoor, non-public activities such as going on walks, you may wear a cloth mask. Continue to remain at least 6 feet away from people not in your household.
We are advising caregivers/household members of transplant patients to solely use cloth masks rather than surgical masks. We will not be able to provide surgical masks to caregivers. Please remember that the purpose of the mask is to protect others from infection.
You will be given a week's supply of surgical masks at your clinic visit. Masks will be distributed by the OP12/OP13 clinic. Given that a clean surgical mask will be provided to you upon every entry to the clinical center, we will give a very limited number of masks. If you do not need them, please do not take them. The maximum number of masks that will be given each week is 7, but most patients should need far less than this.
You will be asked how many masks you need during your pre-clinic COVID19 screening telephone call.
The safety and health of our patients, staff, and community remain our top priority! We appreciate your understanding.
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