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What is the most appropriate respiratory protection against COVID-19?
  1. Nicholas E Burr1,
  2. Christopher J Black2
  1. 1 Department of Gastroenterology, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull, UK
  2. 2 Leeds Gastroenterology Institute, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicholas E Burr, Department of Gastroenterology, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull, UK; nick.burr{at}

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The world is suffering from a pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19), with a mortality rate of up to 4%.1 COVID-19 infection is seen at disproportionately high levels among healthcare workers.

Current UK guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 was updated in April 2020.2 For close contact (<2 metres), the recommended respiratory protection remains a fluid-resistant surgical face mask. However, for areas at higher risk of aerosols, or during aerosol generating procedures, the use of filtering face piece (FFP) mask is advised. These high-risk settings are defined as resuscitation areas within the emergency department and hospital areas using invasive or non-invasive ventilation. Notably, wards caring for non-ventilated COVID-19 positive patients are …

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  • Contributors NEB and CJB contributed equally to the letter.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests NEB and CJB will use personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with current Public Health England recommendations.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.