Current Use of Disposable Masks

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With this pandemic that the world is currently facing, everyone has become familiar with masks. The CDC recommends currently the use of cloth face coverings when you go out in public especially in those areas of significant community-based spread.

Masks for professionals

The masks that are being recommended are disposable mask and are not the ones that health professionals are needing. The masks that you shouldn’t be using include:

  • N95 respirator masks
  • Surgical face masks

These are both examples of personal protective equipment that are being used to protect health professionals worn to protect themselves from airborne particles as well as liquid contaminating the face. These are masks that “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (CDC), “National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health” (NIOSH) as well as “Health Administration Administrative” (OSHA) regulate as able to be used by medical professionals in situations where they are caring for sick patients.

N95 Respirators

CDC does not advise that the public, in general, wear N95 respirators for protection from coronavirus or COVID-19. These are supplies that are critical masks needing to be available for health care professionals as well as other medical first responders and are recommended by CDC current guidelines

Surgical masks

Surgical masks are disposable and loose-fitting. Surgical masks are also regulated and are not to be shared and may be classed as:

  • Isolation
  • Dental
  • Surgical
  • Medical procedure mask

Some come with a face shield but not all. These are often mentioned as face masks, but not all face masks are standardized as surgical masks. They come in different thicknesses and have different abilities to protect a person from contact with liquids. These properties may affect how easily one can breathe through these face masks and how well the mask protects them. And, they should be reserved for medical professionals only.

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