DoD has expanded on recent guidance generally requiring that face masks be worn on its facilities in settings where the CDC-recommended social distancing of six feet is impractical, including that in the current “supply constrained environment” medical-grade masks such as N-95 respirators or surgical masks will not be issued except for medical uses.
Such items “are not recommended for use outside of healthcare, discrete COVID-19 support missions, and other specifically authorized settings,” says a department-wide memo. Similarly, items such as gloves, gowns and eye protection “should be used primarily for patient care” including during patient transport.
It says that within any exceptions allowed by commanders, supervisors or contracting officers, others should have face coverings that should “fit snugly but comfortably” and completely cover the nose and mouth and should be “laundered regularly to maintain good hygiene.” Home-made coverings such as those described on cdc.gov are acceptable, it says.
“Upon request, individuals will lower face coverings at security checkpoints to allow their identities to be verified,” it adds.