Emergency Preparedness News and Announcements

Updated Guidance on Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators

Guidance on Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators: Crisis/Alternate Strategies

Summary of Updates as of November 23, 2020:

  • Conventional capacity strategies
    • Edited the section on use of airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) for aerosol-generating procedures performed on patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients.
    • Added language on FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authorizing the use of certain NIOSH-approved respirator models in healthcare settings to the section on N95 alternatives.
  • Contingency capacity strategies
    • Added a section on temporarily suspending annual fit testing following updated guidance from OSHA
    • Added more details in the extended use section.
  • Crisis capacity strategies
    • Added language on the use of respirators approved under international standards and updated the tables.
    • Combined sections on limited re-use of N95 respirators for tuberculosis and then COVID-19 patients. Added more details surrounding limited re-use.

Overview of Guidance

These crisis capacity or alternate strategies accompany and build on the conventional and contingency capacity strategies.

The following measures are not commensurate with current U.S. standards of care. However, individual measures or a combination of these measures may need to be considered during periods of expected or known N95 respirator shortages.

CDC Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators