2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Cloth Face Coverings - Guidance for Community Settings

Last Updated: August 02, 2021
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*DOD GUIDANCE FOR FACE COVERINGS*


In accordance with CDC guidance, in areas of substantial or high community transmission, DoD requires all Service members, Federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in an indoor setting in installations and other facilities owned, leased or otherwise controlled by DoD.

Service members, Federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors who are not fully vaccinated also need to continue to physically distance consistent with applicable CDC and DoD Force Health Protection guidance.

Personnel coming on to a DoD installation, other facility or workspace who do not have a mask may be provided one by DoD.

All DoD personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn, including within airports.


CDC guidance and definitions of low, moderate, substantial, and high spread can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pdfs/mm7030e2-H.pdfExternal Link. Data on levels of community transmission can be found at the CDC COVID Data Tracker website found at: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/External Link.

 

Fully vaccinated individuals who are two weeks past completion of the required number of doses can –

  • Participate in many of the activities they did before the pandemic and may choose to wear a mask
  • travel domestically without testing or quarantining
  • avoid quarantine if exposed to a person with COVID-19
  • refrain from routine screening testing if feasible
  • anyone who experiences COVID-like symptoms should isolate and seek testing

A face covering or mask should follow current CDC guidelines and have two or more layers of washable fabric, completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snuggly against the sides of the face.  It is also suggested that they have a nose wire to form the top of the covering to the bridge of the nose. Reusable face coverings shall be laundered regularly to maintain good hygiene. Follow Military Department guidance on uniform wear for Service members. 

DOD Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings and MasksExternal Link

Force Health Protection Guidance – Supplement 17External Link  (An updated version is expected soon to account for fully vaccinated personnel)

Force Health Protection Guidance - Supplement 18External Link  (An updated version is expected soon to account for fully vaccinated personnel)

DOD Updated Mask Guidelines for Vaccinated PersonsExternal Link  (Updates guidance in first hyperlink above)

 



DOWNLOADS

Face Coverings, Masks, & Respirators: Know the Difference and When to Use Them - Downloadable Flyer

Important Information about Your Face Covering - Downloadable Handout




Military issue neck gaiters are safe to use as a face covering. 

The material matters more than the style. A tightly woven, multi-layer fabric works best. Military-issue neck gaiters perform as well as commercial cotton face coverings.




Do NOT use Army Combat Uniform (ACU) material as a face covering because of the type of fabric and the different treatments, like insect repellent and flame retardant, applied to the fabric.








Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Key Recommendations

  1.  If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places. In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings; however, in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
  2.  For individuals who are fully vaccinated, CDC statesExternal Link they can participate in many of the activities they did before the pandemic; for some of these activities, they may choose to wear a mask.
  3.  The CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.  
  4.  Face coverings or masks are required on all planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation in the United StatesExternal Link.
  5.  The cloth face coverings or masks recommended by CDC are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
  6.  Face coverings or masks should have two or more layers of washable fabric, completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snuggly against the sides of the face.  It is also suggested that they have a nose wire to form the top of the covering to the bridge of the nose.




CDC Syndicated Content Below


 

The Military Health System Nurse Advice Line is available 24/7 by phone, web chat, and video chat. Call 1-800-874-2273 option #1 or visit https://www.health.mil/I-Am-A/Media/Media-Center/NAL-Day-at-a-glanceExternal Link  for more information.

N-95 respirators are not the same as facemasks and do not provide extra protection for the general public. N-95 respirators are for use by medical personnel who are caring for COVID-19 patients and performing procedures which increase their exposure risk. Users of N-95 respirators must be medically cleared to wear them, fit-tested to ensure proper function, trained on their use, and monitored as part of an occupational health program