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Use of Respirators, Facemasks, and Cloth Face Coverings in the Food and Agriculture Sector During Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the
spread of the virus and to help people who are unaware they have the virus from spreading it to others.

This has led to questions from the Food and Agriculture Sector about what respirators, disposable facemasks, such as surgical
or medical masks, or cloth face coverings are most appropriate for various settings.

  • Respirators protect wearers from breathing in hazardous contaminants in the air.

  • Disposable facemasks, such as surgical or medical masks, are not respirators and do not protect
    the wearer from breathing in small particles, gases, or chemicals in the air.

  • Cloth face coverings, whether provided by the employer or brought from home by the worker, are not respirators or disposable facemasks and do not protect the worker wearing them from exposures.