Learn More – Operation Give A Mask

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Who Is A Frontline Worker?

Frontline staff are employees who provide an essential service to society.

Frontline workers include but are not exclusive to:
1. doctors
2. physician's assistants
3. nurses
4. medical assistants
5. social workers
6. hospital custodians
7. food service employees
8. home improvement staff
9. construction workers
*other essential workers who contribute to the functioning of society.

Because of the increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, frontline workers have consistently suffered a deficit in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


What is Social Distancing?

In addition to practicing good hygienic routines, keeping space between you and others is one of the best ways to slowing the spread of the current virus.

  1. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
  2. Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who • are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  3. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  4.  Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities
  5. Cloth Face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  6. The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  7. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Proper Hand Washing Procedure

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


How does COVID-19 Spread?

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
    • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. 




Do gowns and surgical mask provide protection from coronavirus?

Gowns and surgical masks are intended to provide broad barrier protection. Please see current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on recommended use of PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, FDA has not cleared, approved, or authorized any gowns or surgical masks for specific protection or prevention against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Can respirators approved under standards used in other countries, such as KN95 Masks, be used in the USA during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes. The FDA concluded, based on the totality of scientific evidence available, that certain imported respirators are appropriate to protect the public health or safety, such as the KN95. Data shows that KN95 masks have proven to be surpass the industry benchmark filtration efficiencies.

On April 3, 2020, in response to continued respirator shortages, the FDA issued a new EUA for non-NIOSH-approved N95 respirators made in China, which makes KN95 respirators eligible for authorization if certain criteria are met, including evidence demonstrating that the respirator meets certain standards.
The FDA has adjusted its import screening to further expedite imports of legitimate products and is continually monitoring its import systems to prevent and mitigate any potential issues. The FDA established a special email inbox, COVID19FDAIMPORTINQUIRIES@fda.hhs.gov, for industry representatives to quickly communicate with the agency and address questions or concerns. The FDA is ready and available to engage with importers to minimize disruptions during the importing process.

Which gowns are FDA-cleared? Which surgical masks are FDA-cleared?

To identify FDA-cleared products, search the 510(k) Premarket Notification database using the product codes for gowns (FYA, FYB, FYC) and surgical masks (FXX, OUK, OXZ).

 FDA Announcement April 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) plays a critical role in protecting the United States from threats such as emerging infectious diseases, including the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. FDA is committed to providing timely guidance to support response efforts to this pandemic.

FDA is issuing this guidance to provide a policy to help expand the availability of general use face masks for the general public and particulate filtering facepiece respirators (including N95 respirators) for health care professionals during this pandemic.

This policy is intended to remain in effect only for the duration of the public health emergency related to COVID-19 declared by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including any renewals made by the Secretary in accordance with section 319(a)(2) of the Public Health Services (PHS) Act.

Given this public health emergency, this guidance is being implemented without prior public comment because the FDA has determined that prior public participation for this guidance is not feasible or appropriate (see section 701(h)(1)(C)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and 21 CFR 10.115(g)(2)). This guidance document is being implemented immediately, but it remains subject to comment in accordance with the Agency's good guidance practices.

https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/enforcement-policy-face-masks-and-respirators-during-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-public-health