As recently communicated, the Protect Purdue Implementation Team indicated that individuals should consider higher-quality masks (N95 or KN95) for enhanced protection against COVID-19.
N95 masks may be available in dispensers located in high-traffic facilities, such as libraries and dining halls. Additionally, Boiler Ambassadors will be distributing N95 masks at tabling events from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday (Jan. 11-12) at the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall, Wilmeth Active Learning Center, Purdue Memorial Union and Stewart Center (in lobby under the mural). Similar to disposable surgical face masks, N95 and KN95 face masks are not reusable and should be disposed of on a daily basis or if they become soiled.
The Radiological and Environmental Management (REM) department recommends N95 masks that are certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). For departments wishing to procure higher-quality masks, the following Ariba catalogs currently have KN95 and NIOSH-certified N95 face masks in stock:
- Fisher Scientific
- HP Products
- Office Depot
These face masks are also available for purchase on a walk-in basis from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Fisher Scientific storerooms on campus. The storerooms are located in Lilly Hall of Life Sciences and Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry. Note: An N95 mask with an exhalation valve cannot be used in areas that require a face mask for COVID-19 protection.
REM does not need to approve the use, purchase or fit of N95 and KN95 masks for COVID-19 purposes. Those who wear these masks as personal protective equipment for their daily job requirements need to continue to follow the process listed on REM’s website.
Departments are encouraged to limit their purchase of new masks to a quantity that is needed for a weekly basis. If masks become unavailable through the above vendors, departments should submit a request to Procurement Services at email@example.com. The request should contain as much detailed information as possible, including quantity needed and product specifications.
Face shields are now available at no cost to researchers and others in the campus storeroom locations noted above. These can offer an additional layer of protection when worn over a face mask but may not be used in place of a face mask in required areas. Additional information is available on REM’s website.
Required University face mask protocols are available on the Protect Purdue website.