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ALCOAST 144/20 - COVID-19: GUIDANCE ON THE USE OF CLOTH FACE COVERINGS - UPDATE 1

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R 171929 APR 20
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-11//
TO ALCOAST
UNCLAS//N05100//
ALCOAST 144/20
COMDTNOTE 5100
SUBJ:  COVID-19: GUIDANCE ON THE USE OF CLOTH FACE COVERINGS - UPDATE 1
A. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 061552 APR 20/ALCOAST 124/20 - GUIDANCE ON THE
USE OF CLOTH FACE COVERINGS
B. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 202131 MAR 20/ALCOAST 100/20 - CONTINUING
OPERATIONS POLICY DURING EXTENDED COVID-19 PANDEMIC
C. Novel Coronavirus Planning Order (series)
D. CG-711 Memo 13452 dtd 10Apr2020, Interim Approval of Cloth Face Covering
During Flight Duties
E. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 091900 MAR 20/ALCGFINANCE 013/20 – USE OF
APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO PROCURE FACE COVERINGS
1. This message provides additional guidance for the use of cloth face coverings to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 when at least 6 feet of distancing cannot be maintained as directed in REF (A).
2. Cloth face coverings are not PPE as they do little to protect the wearer. Rather they are worn to protect people in close proximity to the wearer. As a result, they are most effective when worn by people that cannot maintain social distancing.  Cloth face coverings are intended to be worn by USCG members in the execution of routine duties that otherwise do not require PPE. Cloth face coverings will be used to reduce the spread of COVID-19 between asymptomatic personnel.
3. Policy: Cloth face covering guidance in REF (A) remains in effect. Commanders, COs, and OICs should use the risk management framework for PPE selection
contained in the Pandemic and Emerging Infectious Disease (PEID) Risk Assessment (RA), Enclosure (1) of REF (C) during the execution of duties. Safety of CG personnel and preservation of PPE during operations remain primary concerns. Operational Commanders including CO’s/OIC’s must implement these balanced risk control measures and have the authority to determine the practical use of cloth face coverings. Capability managers, mission managers, and commanders shall provide implementation guidance within their AOR.
4. PPE hierarchy: Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE, and they do not replace any PPE in the Coast Guard inventory. Cloth face coverings are in
addition to all current PPE requirements required for the workplace and operations. Per REF (C), the updated PEID RA adds cloth face coverings to Band A Control Options. Further, most operations in the current COVID-19 environment will be conducted in the Risk Control Band B which recommends
personal control options including surgical mask, goggles, nitrile gloves, and optional N95 respirator, not cloth face coverings. Due to extremely limited supplies of N95 respirators, government purchased N95s must not be used in lieu of cloth face coverings when alternate control options exist.
5. Selection, fit and function: For initial implementation, homemade or personally-procured cloth face coverings are necessary for personnel until
government provided face coverings can be procured and delivered, Nation-wide demand has led to extended delivery timelines. 
   a. The CDC recommends cloth face coverings be made from using 2 pieces of cotton, roughly the thickness of an average tee shirt. Additional guidance
for the types of materials to use for making your own DIY cloth face covering are here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html/. Thicker and heavier materials may restrict airflow and have the potential to make breathing challenging. Questions may be directed to your servicing Safety and Environmental Health Officer (SEHO) or a USCG medical provider. Please see the SEHO contact list on the COVID-19 COP website: https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/units/cgcpe2/AfloatCommunity/HSWLSCse-foPOCLIST_30MAR2020.pdf/.
   b. Coast Guard ODU uniforms materials are not treated with insect repellent or flame retardant chemicals; DoD BDUs are treated with chemicals.Coast Guard ODUs are an option to construct a face covering, DoD BDUs are not. If using Coast Guard ODU material be cognizant of airflow concerns mentioned above.
   c. Until face coverings are provided, CO’s/OIC’s may deviate with regard to uniformity but must ensure face coverings are conservative, professional, and in keeping with dignity and respect for the service and its total workforce. Rank insignia and USCG markings are not authorized on face coverings.
   d. Cloth face covering used by CG aviation personnel shall comply with REF (D).
6. Government-procured cloth face coverings: DOL has initiated a large procurement of face coverings and has been granted expedited priority for the consolidated CG-wide order from DLA. However, due to uncertainty in supply chains, estimated delivery dates remain uncertain. A risk-based, prioritized distribution plan is under development to issue to those CG personnel most in need based on workplace distancing challenges and other factors. Since this timeline is extended and face coverings are needed now, REF (E) describes authority for units to use appropriated funds to purchase finished face coverings and material to make face coverings. Due to extreme demand,
individual unit procurements of finished face coverings from government stock could have long delays.
7. N95 Conservation: Due to extremely limited supplies of N95 respirators, government purchased N95s must not be used in lieu of cloth face coverings. Personally procured N95 respirators may be used as needed to support protection of high-risk dependents and vulnerable populations.
8. POC: Mr. Glenn Gebele, Chief, Safety and Environmental Health.
9. RADM Dana Thomas, Director, Health Safety and Work-life, sends.
10. Internet release is authorized.