Prioritizing face masks and respirators during shortages

Preamble This is a work in progress. Feedback is welcome, appreciated, and valued. Key points In the setting of shortages, Respirators (N95 or higher) should be prioritized for health care workers in health care settings, or caregivers of confirmed cases, where the cumulative risk of acquiring an infection is highest. This is called respiratory protection. Face masks should be prioritized for symptomatic (infectious) patients when they are in close contact (within 6 feet) with susceptible persons, especially in a congregate settings such as a health care facility or crowded housing.