Mask usage updates

August 4, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Here are a few important updates regarding mask usage at Michigan Medicine that will keep faculty, staff, patients and visitors as safe as possible during COVID-19:

Medline masks now designated for visitors

At the height of the pandemic, Medline masks were purchased as necessary PPE and are currently still in circulation as available supplies.

While these Medline masks meet filtration needs, they are not fluid resistant. Infection Prevention & Epidemiology guidelines now require that masks used in the clinical setting must meet both filtration and fluid resistant requirements.

For this reason, any remaining inventory of Medline masks should be designated for visitor use. ASTM level 2 rated Earloop Masks, now in stable supply, should be ordered from Warehouse Inventory to meet the staff needs for universal masking. If you do not have visitors in your area, Medline masks can be returned to Warehouse Inventory.

Masks labeled as non-medical device or non-medical use

With stricter guidelines at customs during the pandemic, Chinese manufacturers have labelled or included messages indicating masks are a “non-medical device” or for “non-medical use” in order to pass customs and enter the country.

These masks were vetted thoroughly to ensure they have passed the required testing for ASTM Level 1 or ASTM Level 2 ratings, which are approved by the CDC and FDA for use in medical settings in the U.S. Supply Chain has also confirmed these masks are used by other peer academic medical centers similar to ours.

Supply Chain has asked the manufacturers to remove this messaging from the box containing masks to avoid confusion in the future.

Masks must be worn in all public spaces

While indoors, employees working in private individual offices with the door closed can remove their mask. Face coverings must be worn at all times in all shared settings. 

This includes shared office spaces, even if individuals are separated by at least 6 feet of distance, as well as locker rooms and staff/team workrooms.   

In accordance with the U-M face covering policy, masks must always be worn in all public spaces, indoors or outdoors, while on the university and medical center campus.

Wearing N95 respirators properly

If you use an N95 respirator, please click here to ensure the mask is worn correctly. The straps of the masks should not be crossed. 

As a reminder, staff must be medically cleared by OHS to wear an N95 mask and must be fit-tested to ensure proper use.