19:21 PM

Will You Shave Against COVID to Support Frontline Caregivers?

LVHN caregivers are required to shave their facial hair for safe usage of N-95 masks. We’re asking our community to join in, and share before & after photos to show support.

At Lehigh Valley Health Network, we are doing our part to keep everyone safe. Our colleagues are shaving facial hair to ensure safe usage of N-95 masks. LVHN’s Chief Medical Officer Tom Whalen, MD, is up first! How about you? Shave to support our clinical colleagues! Tag your before & after photos with #ShaveAgainstCOVID.


Why are clinical colleagues being asked to shave their facial hair?

Some facial hairstyles compromise the effectiveness of the N-95 mask, preventing a tight seal around the face. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that health care workers with certain types of facial hairstyles to use a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), which does not rely on a tight facepiece seal between the respirator and the skin. Like many health systems, LVHN has a limited number of PAPRs, and PAPRs worn by more than one user must be cleaned and disinfected before being worn by a different user. Facial hair is popular right now, and as the coronavirus spreads, there is a concern that there will not be enough PAPRs to protect healthcare workers who need to wear them for other reasons. LVHN is asking colleagues on the front line who do not require an accommodation for a sincerely held religious belief to shave their facial hair. We all in this together, so let’s join them and support them!