Feds Act To Get More N95 Masks To Healthcare Workers

By By Dan Hounsell
April 16, 2021
NARONG JHANWATTANA / Shutterstock.com

Ensuring front-line healthcare workers and other essential employees in healthcare facilities have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a challenge throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as the pandemic enters its second year, the federal government continues its efforts to expand PPE access and availability.

Federal officials recently announced new measures to get fresh, new N95 masks to healthcare workers and expand their use in other industries after scientists argued that the highly protective masks are essential to keep workers safe from COVID-19, according to Kaiser Health News.

The changes come as U.S. mask-makers say demand from hospitals is so sluggish that they’ve laid off workers and fear some new protective gear companies could collapse. Yet in a letter to lawmakers, hospitals cite ongoing concerns about scarce supplies, saying limits on which workers should get N95s must stay in place.

Among the new moves: The Food and Drug Administration plans to eventually revoke its approval of the widespread crisis-era practice of decontaminating N95 respirators and returning them to front-line workers to use again.

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Topic Area: Infection Control


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