Dear member / clinic owner,

We’ve already sent out information on N95 use and fit testing, as well as advice on re-use and N95 alternatives in the event that N95 supply fails. Below and linked is some additional fit testing guidance from the MoH. We’re pleased to see urgent care is specifically included this time.

Much of it repeats earlier advice. Some is new, and is in purple colour font below; notably:
  1. Portacount’ fit testing devices may be available from your local DHB, via PHOs.
  2. Mention of a statutory declaration that fit testing has been performed, before N95s are issued.
Again, we strongly recommend that any facilities that haven’t yet organised fit testing do so.
With best wishes,

David Gollogly, Jasmine Mackay, Richard Chen, Kelvin Ward
Pandemic Response Subcommittee
Kia ora koutou,

As you will be aware, the Ministry of Health issued Interim Guidance for the use of N95/P2 particulate respirators in general practices and urgent care clinics. This guidance is linked.

Fit Testing Requirements
Fit testing is a requirement under the Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS1715 before a user wears a particulate respirator on the job. Fit testing assessments should be undertaken at least annually. In addition, fit tests should be performed:
  • Whenever a different size, style, model or make of respirator is used.
  • When any facial changes occur that could affect fit, such as significant changes to facial hair, weight fluctuation or dental work.
Fit testing of workers is also a requirement for accessing N95/P2 particulate respirators from the Ministry of Health central supply of PPE. The Ministry has been supplying N95/P2 particulate respirators to general practices and urgent care clinics so that fit testing can be completed.

Fit Testing methods and PortaCount machines
There are a variety of ways fit testing can be accessed and achieved. There are Commit to Fit programmes which are run through the New Zealand Occupational Hygiene Society (NZOHS). NZOHS holds a register of fit testers who can provide support or services for fit testing. You can view the register at: The services offered by these programmes are generally qualitative fit testing assessments. You can also undertake quantitative fit testing assessments utilising appropriate equipment. The Ministry purchased 20 PortaCount quantitative fit testing machines and consumables for use in District Health Boards (DHBs) and Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities – specifically to ensure consistency and equity in access to fit testing programmes. These PortaCount machines have been offered to DHBs and delivery of the machines has commenced to those DHBs that have accepted this offer. We have asked the DHBs to support fit testing requests for general practices and urgent care clinics where they can. Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) may wish to contact DHBs directly to discuss this further and to help coordinate fit testing. The Ministry expects effective collaboration across the system to support the national approach to fit testing.

Verification of Fit Testing
The Ministry has developed an operational process to record that fit testing has been completed, and to ensure the ongoing supply of N95/P2 particulate respirators from the central supply. This process involves each general practice and urgent care clinic completing a statutory declaration to confirm it has met the requirements for fit testing its workers and that it will continue to meet these requirements. The Ministry will communicate the process next week and would appreciate PHO’s support to ensure it is understood.
Thank you for your ongoing support and work to ensure our healthcare workers are kept safe.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the mailbox.

Yours sincerely

Dani Coplon, PPE & Critical Medical Supply National Lead
COVID-19 Health Supply Chain
COVID-19 Health System Response, Ministry of Health l