A mask should be used by any employee working in an indoor environment with others or any employee working in an outdoor environment where he or she is unable to maintain the CDC-recommended six feet of social distance.
- Greatest protection for both personal protection and protection of others, filtering out 95% or more of very small (0.3 micron) particles, by forming and airtight seal around face
- 8-hour usage per mask (also, if the mask gets wet, it needs to be replaced)
- Regulated by the CDC and NIOSH
- Like the N95 mask, the KN95 filters out 95% or more of particles
- Produced in China and regulated by Chinese authorities
- Approved by the FDA in April 2020 as an alternative to the N95 because of N95 shortages
- 8-hour usage per mask
- Mostly to protect others, but also provides some amount of personal protection for COVID because of the fabric used (combination of non-woven and meltblown fabric)
- One-day usage
Cloth or filtered fabric
- Mostly to protect others, provides personal protection for some bacterial infections, but not for COVID-19
- Leakage of air, not as sealed as KN95 or N95
- More visually appealing and comfortable, less socially intrusive
- Reusable and washable
Face shields can be used by employees who interact with others closely for extended periods, such as aestheticians or dentists, or where it’s difficult or uncomfortable to wear a mask, such as hot environments.
- Affordable enough to be used as disposable after daily use, but also can be used for weeks by the same individual
- Easy to clean – masks can be wiped down or sprayed with alcohol
- Face shields allow for air leakage around the mask, so they are not quite as protective as a mask
- Can be worn in conjunction with a mask (most commonly a 3-ply mask)
Gloves should be used by any employee who will be touching multiple surfaces or handling objects that will be given to others, and/or if the employee will not be able to wash or sanitize his or her hands regularly. All gloves are generally 4–8 mil (1 mil = .001 inches) in thickness.
- Provides the best tactile sensitivity of all materials (employees can more easily type, write, swipe screens and have better feel for than with any of the other materials)
- More durable than latex or vinyl
- Non-allergenic synthetic material
- In high demand and currently can be difficult to source
- Compared to vinyl, latex provides a stronger barrier (more protection), fits better, and is more flexible
- More easily sourced than nitrile gloves
- Natural rubber with potential allergies
- Least durable option
- Least tactile sensitivity
- Most economic option; vinyl be a good option when an employee is changing gloves frequently
Hand sanitizer should be used by any employee working in an environment where regular hand washing is not an option. Hand sanitizer should be applied with the same guidelines the CDC provides for hand washing (apply it thoroughly for 20 seconds).
Gel & Foam Hand Sanitizer
- Range from 60–70% alcohol level, with higher percentages being more protective, but also more flammable.
- Pricing depends largely on packaging forms, including such factors as whether the dispenser has a pump or spray
- Sanitizer wipes can be used for cleaning hands or surfaces.