Respirator Fit-Tests During COVID-19 Response

MSU is temporarily suspending the annual fit testing of N95 filtering facepiece respirators to preserve and prioritize the supply of respirators for use in situations where they are required to be worn.  This is in accordance with the Temporary Enforcement Guidance - Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak recently released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  

An initial fit test is still required for anyone wearing a respirator to protect against COVID-19.  Annual re-fitting can be temporarily suspended if the employee has already been fit tested to that respirator.

Reminders for those postponing annual fit testing:

  • Workers must perform a user seal check (i.e., a fit check) each time a respirator is put on to make sure they are getting an adequate seal
  • Workers must schedule an annual re-fitting if they observe visual changes in their physical conditions that could affect respirator fit (e.g., facial scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, or obvious changes in body weight). This must be done because if the face shape has changed since the last fit test, the user may no longer be getting a good facial seal with the respirator, and would not be adequately protected
  • Workers should inform their supervisor if the integrity and/or fit of their N95 respirator is compromised

See also MSU Environmental Health & Safety's Interim Measures to Conserve Supply of N95 Respirators