Feb. 25, 2021 —
Q: What type of material should I use for a cloth face masks?
A: The CDC recommends using two pieces of cotton, roughly the thickness of an average tee shirt, for making your own DIY cloth face covering. Your old tee shirts can be used for this purpose. Your District Safety and Environmental Health Officer or clinic medical provider can help address any specific questions you might have based on your family’s needs.
Q: Are my old Coast Guard ODUs and blue tee shirts safe to use as cloth face masks?
A: Yes, the Coast Guard ODUs are an option to construct a face covering. DoD BDUs are not. If you do use Coast Guard ODU material, be aware of airflow concerns.
Q: Can I wear any type of face mask I choose?
A: No, the Coast Guard does not authorize face masks with exhalation valves/vents or single layer neck gaiters for safety reasons and all face masks must be of neutral colors.
Q: When and where am I required to wear a face mask?
A: Per Coast Guard policy, all people in federal buildings or on federal lands are required to wear face masks, consistent with CDC guidelines. Additionally, all on-duty or on-site federal employees and contractors are required to wear face masks. Per CDC Order effective Feb. 1, 2021, all Coast Guard personnel - active duty, reserve, and civilians (both GS and NAF) - are required to wear face masks when traveling on any form of public transportation.
Q: Should I wear an N95 respirator at work?
A: An N95 respirator should not take the place of a cloth or disposable face mask. An N95 respirator is considered personal protective equipment (PPE) and should be reserved for those who require it (health-care workers, high-risk individuals, etc). The exception to this is all Coast Guard members traveling in support of FORCECOM training are required to wear a properly fit-tested N95 respirator in accordance with their travel orders.