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CDC Updated Guidelines on Mask Usage


The CDC has recently relaxed guidelines on the use of masks to allow hospitals and other healthcare centers to stretch resources during this time of extreme demand. Some of these measures include:

--Removing face masks for visitors in public areas unless they’re exhibiting symptoms.
--Extended use of face masks, such as continuing to wear the same mask while seeing multiple patients. It’s important to note the mask is to be disposed of if it becomes soiled, damaged, or difficult to breathe through. Additionally, the wearer cannot touch the outside of the mask. Wearers should only remove the mask once they’re away from the patient care area.
--Having patients showing symptoms use tissues or other barriers to cover their mouth and nose while healthcare workers use masks.
--Using masks past the manufacturer sell-by date, as long as they aren’t damaged.
--Canceling elective procedures where face masks would be required.
--Limited reuse of face masks, where they are taken off and put back on between seeing patients. This should only be done for masks that aren’t soiled, damaged, or difficult to breathe through. Masks should be stored while folded inward to avoid contamination, and tie back masks should not be used for this. Wearers should remove them only once they’re away from the patient care area.
--Prioritizing masks for necessary activities. This includes necessary surgeries and procedures, when there is a possibility of splashes or spray, for prolonged close contact with potentially infectious patients, or for aerosol-generating procedures if there are no respirators.
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