COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. The virus can be transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, as well as by touching objects that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mucous membranes of the face (mouth, nose, eyes).
For more information on COVID-19, see the CDC fact sheet What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). You can also shop for Surgical, N95, Kf94, and Kn95 Masks (PPE) at Planet Halo Health.
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During epidemics of infectious diseases, health workers are on the front line and therefore are at higher risk of exposure and infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require medical professionals caring for patients with suspected or confirmed infectious diseases to wear a respirator.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a continuing shortage of respiratory protection. This deficiency reveals two important information needs: (1) an understanding of the different types of respirators and the different levels of protection they provide, and (2) accurate information about approved respirators.
Respiratory protection for COVID-19
The CDC has outlined recommendations for specific personal protective equipment (gowns, gloves, and respirators) for healthcare professionals on the CDC's Personal Protective Equipment Recommendations resource page.
The CDC recommends that personnel treating patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease use N95 face filter respirators approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for use in healthcare facilities.
This respirator filters at least 95% of 0.3-micron particles and also effectively filters many other types of particles including viruses and bacteria.