Contingency Plan: Face mask shortage and the best way to use bandanas to conserve supply of PPE

Purpose: This document offers a contingency plan that addresses how we can use bandanas in conjunction with a face mask to prolong its lifespan past its one time usage.

Due to the rapid growth of Covid-19 across the country, we face a shortage of face masks for our medical staff who are on the front lines fighting this pandemic. While the idea of running out of face masks is quickly becoming a reality, we have a contingency plan in place to help slow down the usage of these disposable masks. The CDC recommends the use of bandanas or scarves as a last resort to protect oneself from the virus but due to lack of data and knowledge, we don’t actually know how well bandanas hold up against the virus. 

What we do know is that we can use bandanas to help the longevity of each mask by wrapping a bandana over or around your face mask as a result, you are creating a barrier between foreign objects such as bodily fluids (sneezing, coughing) from reaching the actual face mask and therefore making more use of its protection

We don’t recommend the use of bandanas as an alternative to face masks if you still have an available supply on hand. However, if you are depleted of face masks, a bandana would be the best option to help protect against the virus. 

Our contingency plan is made available to the public to help keep others informed about the steps that we can take to help the medical staff and other first responders keep their supply of face masks and to aid those that do not need a face mask but would like protection when needed.

How to maximize the use of your PPE by wearing a bandana

Prolonging the use of an N95 face mask for medical personnel is on everyone’s mind as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We’ve thought about it as well and quickly realized we have access to an effective and immediate solution: bandanas. Always having been such a large part of our business, we have the knowledge to confidently recommend the use of two types of bandanas. 

1) 22×22 inch square bandanas – to be folded into a triangle; placed over an N95 face mask and tied securely behind the head.

2) Seamless tubular bandanas – to be worn comfortably around the neck and slipped up over an N95 face mask as needed. 

Both of these options can be folded twice, doubling protection and therefore optimizing the usage of each N95 face mask.

A flat and tubular bandana that shows each transition

Bandanas – Protect Your Staff If They Are Still Working During The Crisis

Has your business been deemed essential? Thank you for your continued hard work! We know that protecting employees is your first priority. Bandanas offer added protection to facial equipment your employees may already be using. If employees don’t normally wear face protection, bandanas are a great way to ensure no unwanted substances can reach the face. While bandanas are not medical grade items or a replacement for an N95 face mask, employees may feel more comfortable with an additional way to protect themselves.

Disclaimer – not medical grade for claims; not a replacement for N95 mask
Bandanas – Protect Your Staff If They Are Still Working During The Crisis

Bandanas – The Waiting Room Handout

Disposable face masks have always been an optional item. Readily available when entering hospitals and most other medical offices. Now, they have become a necessary item that any person entering said facilities should have and for that reason, Bandanas create an immediate solution to ensuring that everyone has a form of coverage and protection. 

Bandanas – The Waiting Room Handout_Section Image

Best face mask alternative; Wear a bandana to prevent touching your face

Bandanas are an effective way to help keep our hands off of our faces. There are many times throughout the day when we touch our faces; a sneeze or cough being the most common reasons. But, think about the number of times we touch our face and don’t even realize it! A random nose itch here, a chin scratch there. The number of times we touch our face every day can really add up! Wearing a bandana when going places such as the grocery store or the bank will give you a sense of comfort knowing you have that added protection.

An illustration demonstrating being conscious about not touching the face

Related Articles

Learn all about the proper steps on how we helped our own County of San Diego by keeping the medical staff and first responders protected and what we did to keep San Diegan’s mind at ease with the ever growing concern for shortages on face masks.

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A Contingency Plan

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