If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it was just how fast a virus can spread. This is especially true if we don’t take measures to protect ourselves. As we are all well aware, mask mandates were commonplace throughout the pandemic. Arguably, there was no more important place for masks to be worn than inside long-term care facilities. Of course, wearing N95 masks protects both healthcare professionals and their patients.
We don’t need to remind you of the disheartening results of the spread of the coronavirus. Sadly, many lives were lost and much of them were members of our elderly communities. Naturally, older adults are more susceptible to the worst ill-effects of virus spread.
Why are older people at greater risk of infection?
“As we age, our immune system weakens,” explains Associate Professor Hassan Vally of Australia’s La Trobe University, “This makes us more vulnerable to infections of all types. And any sort of challenge to the body can do more damage. When the immune system gears up in older people, there is also a higher likelihood of a phenomenon called a cytokine storm. This is where the immune system overreacts and produces too many of the chemicals to fight an infection.”
Taking all of this into consideration, it should go without saying that workers in long-term care facilities have always needed to think with a “safety first” mindset. Even with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, mask-wearing is still a necessity for them.
Ontario has made mask-wearing for long-term care workers a requirement.
As reported by CBC News this past November, the province of Ontario mandated that long-term care staff members must wear masks. The new regulation came about following a new rise in COVID-19 outbreaks, cases and resident hospitalizations. Based on advice from Dr. Kieran Moore, the chief medical officer of health, the masking requirement also applies to students, support workers and volunteers when they are in resident areas indoors.
“The ministry further strongly recommends that visitors and caregivers wear a mask in resident areas indoors except when they are with residents in their rooms or when eating with residents in communal spaces,” CBC News informs. The report reveals that were 5,459 COVID-19 cases among long-term care residents, with 181 people hospitalized between August 27 and October 28 last year. A total of 106 people died.
It’s also beneficial for long-term care workers to have first aid and CPR certifications.
Holding a First Aid Certificate is all about being prepared to help others. The knowledge gained in a First Aid and CPR course can give a long-term care worker the confidence to take action when a patient – or anyone else, for that matter – is in dire need of life-saving assistance.
At MaskFit Plus, we offer mask fit testing under Occupational Health and Safety (OHSA) using the Qualitative Fit Testing (QFLT) approach. We would be happy to visit your site to offer our Client Onsite Group Mask Fit Test Sessions. We service areas that include Toronto, Mississauga, the Greater Hamilton area, Brampton, Kitchener/Waterloo, Cambridge, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls to name few.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 289-643-6222 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page!