FEMA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA), along with other federal agencies, distribute cloth facial coverings as part of a multi-prong approach to re-open American economic activity while continuing to limit spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Processing and shipping on the first allocation of face coverings started April 16. The federal government delivery of facial coverings is in a phased-approach for infrastructure workers, first responders, and food producers who do not need medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) for their daily work.
- Our priority remains ensuring critical healthcare workers and first responders have the necessary PPE to fight this pandemic and keep our communities safe.
- A key component of in our efforts to increase supply of PPE available today and in the future is preservation of the PPE we currently have access to.
- Everyone who uses PPE are asked to learn how to safely preserve supply inventory where possible by using the CDC’s Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE and Equipment and following best practices on preserving PPE.
- Many of our infrastructure sectors must have access to facial coverings in order to protect the workers and to ensure critical services continue throughout our communities.
- Distribution is based on CISA analysis of priority infrastructure sectors.
- Priority infrastructure sectors included in the analysis are food production and distribution, energy, water and wastewater treatment, essential transportation and logistics, first responders, communications, hazardous materials management, manufacturing of medical supplies, and sanitation and disinfection supplies.
- This second proportioned allocation of 4.5 million cloth facial coverings will be distributed to each state and territory’s Receipt, Store, and Stage (RSS) sites or other designated location (as provided by state/tribal officials).
- FEMA and HHS are also providing face coverings to federal departments and agencies with mission essential functions to promote health and safety in the workplace and in their execution of public-facing missions.
- These facial coverings are not replacements for medical-grade personal protective equipment that many who work in these infrastructure areas already use. They are only to supplement additional workforce in these areas who do not need medical-grade equipment.