Dear Member / clinic owner,

CDC policy on mask use

There has been a significant shift in American CDC policy to increased wearing of masks by medical frontline staff and the public, in line with Chinese and east Asian practice.
Our MoH is following the CDC position closely.
Many of our facilities’ staff now wear masks for each consultation.

See forum posts:
Masks reduced transmission of SARS by 70% – Cochrane analysis
Evidence for aerosol transmission of coronaviridae (new)

Reuse of PPE

The CDC has released a statement on reusing masks in case supplies run low, which may be useful for facilities that wish to prepare for a mask shortage.
The United States is at a different stage of the pandemic, and emphasises that reuse is not the ‘standard of care’.
Key points:
  • “ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and moist heat showed the most promise as potential methods to decontaminate FFRs (filtering facepiece respirators).”
  • Strategies for FFR extended use and reuse (without decontamination of the respirator) are currently available from CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • It references a paper on SARS-COV-2 survival in the environment on different materials, where the figure for near-extinction on cardboard is given as two days.
  • It suggests healthcare workers store their masks in a breathable paper bag at the end of each shift and re-use after five days.
The FDA has approved a specific ‘Battelle’ system for hydrogen peroxide decontamination of masks.

Ministry of Health guidelines, and the safety of frontline workers, should take priority.

With best wishes,
David Gollogly, Jasmine Mackay, Richard Chen
Pandemic Response Committee