Wearing a mask, especially where physical distancing is difficult, will help to protect you and your family through the COVID-19 pandemic. Your health and safety continues to be our top priority. This is why Local 793 is distributing five KN95 masks to all members in good standing with the next issue of Making Tracks.
The issue will be mailed to members in mid-July.
Why wear a mask?
COVID-19 is commonly spread by inhaling and exhaling virus particles. Wearing a mask can provide an effective barrier to the inhalation of particles or prevent the exhalation of particles due to coughing or sneezing.
Why the KN95 mask?
Research shows that respirator style masks, like the KN95, serve as a better barrier against COVID-19 particles than both surgical and regular cloth masks. KN95 masks are proven to block 95% of particles including aerosols, which are even smaller virus particles. For further information on the importance of wearing KN95 masks, you can review two studies: 1) Masking During the COVID-19 Pandemic and 2) Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19 on the Union’s website.
How do you properly use a KN95 mask?
All masks, including the KN95, are only effective if they are used properly. It is important that masks are put on (donned) and taken off (doffed) appropriately and that you check to ensure the mask makes a firm seal. By making sure the KN95 mask fits properly on your face and the seal is tight, it will do its job to protect against the transmission of the virus. For a quick demonstration on how to don and doff the KN95 mask properly, including checking the seal, please watch the video on the Union’s website at https://iuoelocal793.org/donning-and-doffing-an-n95-mask/
Are KN95 masks reusable?
In general, the continuous use of this mask is six hours. KN95 masks can be safely decontaminated, without decreasing its effectiveness, two to three times if you have not been wearing it in high crowd areas. For more information about decontamination of masks you can review the study: Masking During the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Union’s website.
Local 793 reminds members that PPE, like the KN95 mask, remains the last line of defence only when physical distancing cannot occur. To ensure your ongoing safety, please remember to follow these important practices: 1) wash/disinfect your hands frequently 2) avoid touching your face and 3) clean/disinfect high-touch surfaces frequently.
Your health and safety through this pandemic remains our top priority. Please continue to work safely.