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Guidance on the use of Masks

Following updated recommendations from the CDC, the IAFF has released the following recommendations:

Following new guidance announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending that the public voluntarily wear non-medical basic cloth or fabric masks, the IAFF strongly recommends that members begin wearing surgical masks at the fire station and to consider donning a surgical mask at home around family members to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as sustain a sufficient workforce to protect our communities across the United States and Canada.

Download the IAFF COVID-19 guidance on Surgical Masks: Reducing Potential Exposure.

The guidance referenced states in part, “…CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

This recommendation complements and does not replace the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, 30 Days to Slow the Spread …”