News & Events

Pennsylvania DOH reverses guidance and now recommends following CDC guidance on H1H1

Health Alert Network 2009
Interim Guidance on Infection Control Measures for 2009 Influenza H1N1 in Healthcare Settings, Including Protection of Healthcare Personnel
DATE: October 22, 2009

FROM: Everette James, Secretary of Health

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) is issuing the following updated information on infection control guidelines related to 2009 influenza A/H1N1 in health care settings.  This information supersedes recommendations made by PADOH on June 30, 2009…

On October 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its updated “Interim Guidance on Infection Control Measures for 2009 Influenza H1N1 in Healthcare Settings, Including Protection of Healthcare Personnel” ( in an effort to minimize the potential for transmission of pandemic influenza in healthcare settings and to protect healthcare workers from exposure. 

However, in light of the updated CDC guidance, and the companion enforcement announcement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (, the PADOH also recommends to the Commonwealth’s health care facilities and first responders to utilize N95 respiratory protection for those in close contact with patients with suspected or confirmed 2009 influenza A/H1N1. This requires that facilities have a respiratory protection program that includes fit testing and that any respiratory protection must be used consistently and correctly to be effective…

PADOH maintains a limited stockpile of personal protective equipment (both N95 respirators and surgical masks) for emergency situations.  If facilities are unable to obtain sufficient quantities of PPE through normal or alternative commercial supply channels, they may request material from PADOH’s stockpile until commercial supplies can be reestablished.  Information on how to access stockpile material is available at