September 22, 2020
NIOSH Announces Plans for Distributing Elastomeric Half Mask Respirators
On September 14, 2020, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a request for information regarding the deployment and use of elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMRs) in healthcare settings and emergency medical services (EMS) organizations during the COVID-19 crisis. NIOSH anticipates that the widespread use of EHMRs will ease the demand for single-use N95 FFRs in healthcare settings experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 patients
To gather more information from EHMR users in healthcare and emergency response settings, NIOSH is seeking input on two initiatives: 1.) A deployment of EHMRs across the nation from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), and 2.) Future NIOSH EHMR demonstration projects.
The project allows the SNS to provide participating organizations with a fixed quantity of the EHMR devices it purchases to use in their healthcare activities. Each participating organization will also receive the EHMR Best Practice Guidelines/Hospital Implementation Guide prepared by NIOSH. In exchange, the participating organization must provide NIOSH a detailed report of its experiences using the EHMRs, including user acceptability and feasibility of implementation.
NIOSH is also considering conducting EHMR demonstration projects. These EHMR demonstration projects would consist of healthcare or EMS organizations using EHMRs in their respiratory protection programs and providing user acceptability feedback, such as on fit testing and disinfection protocols, among other implementation parameters. Interested persons and groups will need to review the posted announcement for details and submit a Statement of Interest and other materials to shape and participate in these demonstration projects.
Responses must be submitted to NIOSH by October 14, 2020.
For additional information on COVID-19, please visit the ASA COVID-19 Spotlight page.
Please contact the ASA Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs for more information.