2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Mask Guidance for Community Settings

Last Updated: June 21, 2022
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*DOD GUIDANCE FOR MASKS*

In accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, all personnel in areas with a CDC COVID-19 Community Level* assessment of "Low," regardless of vaccination status, are not required to wear a mask or execute screening and testing as previously mandated.

All personnel in areas with a CDC COVID-19 Community Level assessment of "Medium," regardless of vaccination status, are not required to wear a mask. However, screening testing of unvaccinated personnel as previously mandated is still required.

All personnel in areas with a CDC COVID-19 Community Level assessment of "High," regardless of vaccination status, ARE required to wear a mask, and screening testing of unvaccinated personnel as previously mandated is still required.

*The CDC COVID-19 Community Level is the only authorized source for determining requirements for screening testing and mask posture.

 

At all levels, people can wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by personal level of risk. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 are required to wear a mask.

In addition:

  • Follow more stringent installation, organization, or local guidance requiring masking where applicable.
  • Strict indoor mask wearing is required in all Military Treatment Facilities.
  • Commanders may increase their mask posture for the safety of their workforce if necessary.

 

CDC guidance and definitions of low, medium, and high COVID-19 Community Levels can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.htmlExternal Link. COVID-19-related data  are available from 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 activities they did before the pandemic and may choose to wear a mask in indoor settings such as but not limited to, installations and facilities owned, leased or otherwise controlled by DoD;
  • travel domestically without testing or quarantining;
  • avoid quarantine if exposed to a person with COVID-19 as long as they remain symptom free;
  • and refrain from routine screening testing.

NOTE: Anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms should isolate and seek testing.


The following products can assist in choosing the right mask and provides guidance on proper wearing and taking off of N95 and other tight fitting respirator masks.

Choosing the Right MaskExternal Link

Best Practices for Wearing an N95​External Link


Some masks and respirators offer higher levels of protection than others. The CDC outlines types of masks and respiratorsExternal Link on its website. Properly fitted respirators provide the highest level of protection; however, it's hard to know if they are fitted properly, and some people experience discomfort with long term use. This makes tight fitting respirators ideal for those who can tolerate them, certain higher risk situations, or for people at increased risk for severe disease.​

Service Members must follow Military Department guidance on uniform wear regarding masks.

BE AWARE there is a known issue with counterfeit N95 and KN95 masks being sold. A webpageExternal Link​ and a webinarExternal Link​ are available with information to consider when purchasing respirators.​

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions to properly wear, store, clean, and dispose of the masks and respirators.​​ 

Consolidated DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 Force Health Protection Guidance​External Link​ – Signed April 4, 2022




CDC Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs

​For information on the requirement for face masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs, visit the CDC at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/face-masks-public-transportation.html​External Link.




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.​