Strategies for optimizing the supply of N95 respirators
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Strategies for optimizing the supply of N95 respirators

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    Updated February 29, 2020

    Audience: These considerations are intended for use by federal, state, and local public health officials, respiratory protection program managers, occupational health service leaders, infection prevention and control program leaders, and other leaders in healthcare settings who are responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures for preventing pathogen transmission in healthcare settings.

    Purpose: This document offers a series of strategies or options to optimize supplies of disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators (commonly called “N95 respirators”) in healthcare settings when there is limited supply. It does not address other aspects of pandemic planning; for those, healthcare settings can refer to existing influenza preparedness plans to address other aspects of preparing to respond to novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The strategies are also listed in order of priority and preference in the Checklist for Healthcare Facilities: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators during the COVID-19 Response in an easy-to-use format for healthcare facilities.

    The following strategies are based upon these assumptions: 1) facilities understand their current N95 respirator inventory and supply chain, 2) facilities understand their N95 respirators utilization rate, and 3) facilities are in communication with state and local public health partners (e.g., public health emergency preparedness and response staff) and healthcare coalitions. While these strategies are targeted for optimizing the supply of N95 respirators, some of these strategies may be applicable to optimizing the supply of other personal protective equipment such as gowns, gloves, and eye protection.

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