Response to Downgrade of PPE Precautions for COVID-19

John Oudyk, an OHCOW occupational hygienist with extensive knowledge and experience on the issue of PPE in Healthcare (from supporting workers and workplaces during and post SARS, MERS & Ebola), drafted an evidence-based response arguing against the federal and provincial public health policy shift to downgrade the type of precautions (including respirators) in March 2020 (when the pandemic began), with updates several times since.  

He and fellow OHCOW hygienist, Kevin Hedges, have also presented on the subjects of transmission risk and worker protection numerous times as the pandemic, and science has evolved. For more information visit: COVID-19 Airborne Transmission Risk & Control.  

Please note, that although funding to OHCOW is from the Ontario government, the views of the report(s) do not necessarily reflect the position of the Ontario government.

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"A Consideration of the Rationale Provided to Downgrade PPE Precautions for COVID-19" position paper including 12p Study Interpretation Comparison Table Appendix - August 13 (Previous Drafts: March 31, March 20April 29August 13)

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John contributed to the CFNU investigation by SARS Commission Advisor, Mario Possamai: A Time of Fear: How Canada Failed Health Workers and Mismanaged COVID-19 released October 5th, 2020. See Mario’s related video presentation for Lancaster House and slides - September 2020.

And the summary by John, and IWH research partner Dr. Peter Smith, of the Pandemic Experience of Workers at the same event (slides).

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John also presented “The science is in” – what next?  Mitigating the Proportional Risk of the Transmission of COVID-19 (or recording) on Oct. 1st at a national Best Brains Exchange hosted by PHAC, CIHR & CADTH along with OHCOW hygienist, Dr. Kevin Hedges – October 1, 2020.

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MLTSD Science Review Table presentation slides & video - June 12, 2020

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Other Related Work & Resources 

In parallel with PPE & Airborne risk knowledge activism, John worked with union and academic partners to design, implement and analyse the Pandemic experience survey reported in the Heath-care workers lacking PPE suffer from more anxiety and depression editorial by collaborator Peter Smith (IWH) which highlights a strong correlation between perceived adequacy of PPE & IPC with anxiety and depression symptoms. For more information, including presentations, publications and a re-launch visit: Pandemic Experience and Impact

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NEW Labour Market Attachment, Workplace Infection Control Procedures and Mental Health: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Canadian Non-healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic Peter M Smith, John Oudyk, Guy Potter, December 14, 2020

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Full article: The Association between the Perceived Adequacy of Workplace Infection Control Procedures and Personal Protective Equipment with Mental Health Symptoms: A Cross-sectional Survey of Canadian Health-care Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Peter M. Smith, PhD, John Oudyk, MSc, Guy Potter, PhD, Cameron Mustard, ScD. First Published September 21, 2020

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See OHCOW’s COVID-19 Resources for more Information and tools to Recognize, Assess and Control SARS CoV-2 hazards, and prevent the occupational disease.

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