CDC suggests nurses use bandanas, scarves during face mask shortage
As the national shortage of face masks becomes severe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nurses can use bandanas and scarves as makeshift masks when caring for COVID-19 patients — although it’s unclear whether they would protect medical workers.
The CDC says that option should be used “as a last resort” and only when the hospital nearly depletes its supply and experiences a crush of COVID-19 patients, reaching “crisis capacity.” The CDC acknowledges that its recommendations are out of step with standards of care in the United States.
Nurses and other health care providers can “use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19,” the CDC website now reads . The agency says in the next sentence that the homemade masks’ capability to protect health care providers against the coronavirus-caused disease “is unknown.”