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CDC Guidelines Masking During a Pandemic

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

How well do you know your mask? Transmission-Based Precautions are the 2nd tier of basic infection control and are to be used in addition to Standard Precautions for people in the public who may be infected or colonized with certain infectious agents.

Studies found that with a stitched cotton mask, respiratory droplets from a cough only traveled 2.5 inches. The thicker the fabric-the better! The CDC recommends 2 layers tightly woven,100% cotton. Based on CDC guidelines, children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a mask on their own, should not wear a face mask.


SURGICAL MASKS

Testing and Approval

Not tested

Face Seal Fit

Loose-fitting

Intended Use

Fluid resistant and provides the wearer protection against large droplets, splashes, or sprays of bodily or other hazardous fluids. Protects the patient from the wearer’s respiratory emissions

User Seal Check Requirement

No

Filtration

Does NOT provide the wearer with a reliable level of protection from inhaling smaller airborne particles and is not considered respiratory protection. Leakage occurs when one inhales

AIRBORNE MASKS Testing and Approval Evaluated, tested, and approved by NIOSH as per the requirements in 42 CFR Part 84 Face Seal Fit Tight-fitting Intended Use Reduces wearer’s exposure to particles including small particle aerosols and large droplets (only non-oil aerosols) User Seal Check Requirement Yes. Required each time the respirator is donned (put on). Filtration Filters out at least 95% of airborne particles including large and small particles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention latest updated guidance about how Covid spreads, emphasizes that the virus can be spread through the air via “very fine droplets and aerosolized particles” from an infected person who is more than 6 feet away.

  • Consider wearing a mask. Vaccinated or not, wearing a mask in indoor public spaces can help protect you and everyone close to you.

  • Practice social distancing and avoid close contact with others:

  • Outside your home: Stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid crowded places.

  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with household members who are sick. Avoid sharing personal items and use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members, if possible.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. The FDA urges consumers not to use certain sanitizers that contain methanol or 1-propanol. These substances can be harmful when absorbed by the skin.

  • Clean frequently-touched objects and surfaces daily. If someone is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. Use a household disinfectant on List N: Disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

Thank You for Keeping Our Communities Safe! Reference CDC. (2021). Understanding the Difference between a Surgical Mask and N95 Resoirator. Retrieved from CDC.Gov: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/understanddifferenceinfographic-508.pdf


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