Cleaning, Safety, and Face Masks FAQ
As of April 17th 2020, most Bay Area counties including San Francisco, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and San Mateo have ordered mandatory face mask requirements. In addition to maintaining social distance, the CDC also highly recommends that face masks should be worn in public. The face mask requirement applies to all essential workers working at businesses such as grocery stores, medical facilities, public transit and government facilities who interact with the public. All visitors must wear face masks as well.
Q: What do face masks do?
A: Face masks are a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) used to protect the person and anyone they come in contact with.
Q: Are there different types of face masks?
A: Yes, there are three main types of face masks that offer different levels of protection. There are N95 respirator masks, surgical masks, and cloth masks. N95 masks and surgical masks are FDA cleared ppe, but the biggest difference between the two is that N95 respirator masks filter out at least 95% of airborne particles including both large and small particles. Learn more about the differences here. Cloth masks are homemade face masks that will help prevent the wearer from touching their face.
Q: Which face mask should I use?
A: As recommended by current CDC guidance, the general public should not use N95 and face masks as those “critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.”
Q: When should I wear face masks?
A: Masks should be worn anytime you are in public and especially when you are interacting with an essential service.
Q: Where can I buy face masks?
A: During this uncertain time, face masks are high in demand. Unfortunately, they are also subject to price-gouging tactics by those trying to take advantage of the situation and crisis. For the time being, disposable face masks are unavailable from many large retailers. The best course of action is to create your own face covering.
SWA cares deeply about our employees and their safety is of utmost importance. SWA’s Quality Manager Victoria Lee has single handedly cut and hand sewn enough face masks for all SWA supervisors and working employees to ensure that they have proper PPE while working.