Considerations for Covering N95s to Extend Use

Introduction During times of increased demand for N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), hospitals or other medical facilities may want to protect these devices from surface contamination in order to prolong their use. When protection against surface contamination is needed, CDC recommends wearing a cleanable face shield over an N95 FFR[1]. Wearing a surgical mask or cloth covering over an FFR, such as an N95, is not approved or recommended by NIOSH because it is not consistent with the conditions of the approval, therefore voiding the certification. This blog does not address exhalation valves and the impact of an asymptomatic respirator