2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Cloth Face Coverings - Guidance for Community Settings

Last Updated: May 24, 2021
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*DOD GUIDANCE FOR FACE COVERINGS*


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

  • resume activities without wearing a mask including in the federal workplace (both indoors and outdoors), except where local policies require mask use;
  • travel domestically without testing or quarantining;
  • and avoid quarantine if exposed to a person with COVID-19.
  • Anyone who experiences COVID-like symptoms should isolate and seek testing.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals must continue to wear face coverings or masks at all times on DOD property, on installations, in facilities, and while performing official duties on behalf of the DOD, except –

  • when an individual is alone in an office with floor-to-ceiling walls and a closed door;
  • for brief periods of time when eating and drinking while maintaining distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines and instructions from commanders and supervisors;
  • when the mask is required to be lowered briefly for identification or security purposes; or
  • when necessary to reasonably accommodate an individual with a disability.

This guidance applies to all Service members, DOD Civilians, contractors, Family members (while not in their residences on installations), and all other individuals on DOD property.

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. For individuals who are fully vaccinated, the CDC statesExternal Link they can resume activities without wearing a face covering/mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  2. For individuals not fully vaccinated, the CDC recommendsExternal Link wearing cloth face coverings or face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
  3. Face coverings or masks are required on all planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation in the United StatesExternal Link.
  4. 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.
  5. 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