During the COVID-19 epidemic, it is recommended to choose the right type of mask, and not to overprotect it. According to the type and risk level of the works of disease prevention and control, the following guidelines are proposed.
No mask or non-medical mask
Recommended for low-risk people:
● Indoor and community residents;
● Those engaged in outdoor activities, including children, students in open spaces;
● Those who work in a well-ventilated workplace.
Those who stay at home or in well-ventilated locations with low population density may not require masks.
Non-medical masks, such as cotton gauze, activated carbon, and sponges, have certain protective effects, and can also reduce the spread of droplets caused by coughing, sneezing and talking.
Disposable medical mask (children choose products with similar performance)
Recommended for people with a lower risk of exposure:
● Public in densely populated areas such as supermarkets, shopping malls, vehicles, elevators.
● Indoor office environment;
● Patients attending medical institutions (except for fever clinic);
● Children in kindergartens, students, etc who are engaged in intensive learning and activities.
Medical surgical mask
Recommended for people with a medium risk of exposure:
● General outpatient, medical staff in the ward, etc.;
● Staff in densely populated places, including those in hospitals, airports, railway stations, subways, ground buses, airplanes, trains, supermarkets, restaurants, etc.
● Personnel engaged in administrative management that related to the epidemic, and professionals such as police, security, courier, etc.;
● Patients with fever or suspected case that are isolated at home, and persons living with them.
Particulate respirators mask (children choose products with similar performance)
Recommended for people with a higher risk of exposure:
● Medical staff working in the emergency department, etc.;
● Public health physicians who conduct epidemiological investigations of close contacts.
● Testing personnel of environmental and biological samples related to the epidemic.
Medical protective mask
Recommended for personnel with high-risk of exposure:
● All staff working in the wards, ICUs, and observation rooms for patients with COVID-19 (confirmed cases, suspected cases), including clinicians, nurses, nurse assistants, cleaners, mortuary staff, etc.
● Doctors and nurses of fever clinics at designated medical institutions in the affected areas;
● Public health physicians who conduct epidemiological investigations of confirmed and suspected cases;
Wear safety goggles or face shields in the first aid of infected patients and during tracheal intubation and bronchoscopy. When there is a shortage of medical protective masks, you can choose to replace them with N95/KN95 and above standard particulate respirators masks. You can also choose self-priming filter respirators (full or half facepiece) with particulate filter cotton, and powered air-purifying respirator has better protection.
(Reference: Guidelines for the Selection and Use of COVID-19 Masks in Different Populations issued by National Health Commission; Health Education Manual for COVID-19 Control issued by National Health Commission and China Health Education Center)
Source: Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention