UA Occupational Health Temporary Clinic Operational Changes
March 19, 2020
UA Occupational Health (UA-OH) will be operating on a limited basis for in-person clinic visits at this time until further notice, but our staff will still be performing much of our standard operations remotely and are available by phone or email during typical business hours.
In accordance with recent recommendations by national regulating agencies and respiratory protection experts, in order to accommodate the shortage of N95 masks and limit close physical interactions, the UA-OH clinic will be temporarily suspending annual fit testing for N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) only, except when visual facial changes or significant weight change could affect respirator fit. If face size or shape has changed since the last fit test, individuals may no longer by getting a good facial seal with the respirator and, thus, are not being adequately protected. In these cases, please contact UA-OH for a fit test. Otherwise, no annual fit test will be completed at this time until further notice. Initial fit testing for all respirators used for workplace exposures including N95 FFRs will continue to be performed at this time. It is highly recommended that all employees continue to perform a user seal check at each donning to make sure that they are getting an adequate seal from their respirator. For procedure guidance on proper don/doff procedure and user seal check, watch this OSHA video. If a successful user seal check cannot be performed after adjusting fit, discard the respirator and try another identical respirator. Employees should also inform their supervisor if the integrity and/or fit of their N95 FFR is compromised. UA-OH will continue to perform initial and annual fit testing for half-face respirators and PAPR training as needed. UA Risk Management Services will continue to perform initial and annual fit testing for full-face respirators.
In addition, the ACOEM (American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine) has written a formal letter to OSHA requesting that all routine medical surveillance exams (silica, hazmat, etc.) be suspended at this time to lower risk of COVID-19 spread. We will provide updates on our clinic operations when further guidance is available on this matter. For additional information about our clinic operations, visit our website at https://occhealth.arizona.edu/home, call our main number (520) 621-5643 or email UA-OH Program Manager Jim Metras at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information regarding COVID-19 please visit the Campus Health Service COVID-19 webpage at health.arizona.edu or call (520) 621-9202.