Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says the order responds to safety concerns of long-term care facility workers across the state.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – A new state order requires long-term care facilities to provide respirators to staff caring for coronavirus patients.

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The order, signed Monday by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, requires long-term care facilities to give employees respirators, like N95 masks.

The respirators are required to go to staff providing direct patient care to residents who have or might have coronavirus as well as employees assigned to provide direct care in COVID-19 units.

“Each facility shall develop, implement, and adhere to policies and procedures that provide for the procurement and distribution of PPE to all staff by 12:01 a.m. on August 27, 2020,” the order reads.

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The respirators must be National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved particulate filtering facepiece respirators, but if those aren’t available, respirators approvded by the FDA.

The respirator distribution must happen before the employee’s shift and must be replaced if it becomes dirty, damaged or ineffective.

Dr. Levine says order responds to safety concerns of nurses and staff across the state.

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You can read the full order online.