Ford Awaits FDA Approval For Its Clear, N95 Masks For The Hearing-Impaired
The low-cost, reusable respirators could also help people who depend on facial expressions to better do their jobs, like teachers.
Detroit Free Press:
Clear N95 Face Masks Designed By Ford Could Be Huge For Hearing Impaired, Teachers
Ford Motor Co. has designed and created clear N95 face masks so that hearing impaired people can read lips while protecting themselves from COVID-19, the company announced Tuesday. A patent is pending for the new design, which is awaiting federal approval to qualify for N95 status from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The low-cost, reusable respirators may supplement or replace the use of cloth masks that block facial expression and lips from view as mask wearers seek protection from the increased threat of new coronavirus variants. In addition to the hearing impaired, these masks could be used by people who depend on facial expressions to better do their jobs, like teachers. (Howard, 2/2)
In other mask news —
Biden Administration Weighs Plan To Directly Send Masks To All Americans
The Biden White House is considering sending masks directly to American households, according to three people familiar with the discussions, an action the Trump administration explored but scrapped. The Covid-19 Response Team is evaluating the logistics of mailing out millions of face coverings, but no decision has been made, and the proposal hasn't yet reached President Joe Biden for final approval, a White House official said. (Alba, Lee and Welker, 2/4)
The US May Soon Have Its First Standards For Consumer Face Masks. Are They Strict Enough?
American consumers may be about to get the first standards for face masks. The coronavirus pandemic triggered a sudden intense need for masks that had Americans making masks at home out of T-shirts and bandanas. Hundreds of new and untested products flooded the marketplace with almost no oversight or regulation, making consumer masks the Wild West of personal protection equipment. That is set to change. ASTM International, an international technical standards organization, and the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, are working on standards to "establish minimum design, performance (testing), labeling, user instruction, reporting and classification, and conformity assessment requirements for barrier face coverings." (Enriquez, 2/4)
National Parks Have Added A Mask Requirement In Accordance With Biden's Executive Order. Here's Where
The National Parks Service will now require visitors to wear masks in accordance with an executive order issued by President Joe Biden last month, the United States Department of Interior announced Tuesday. Biden's order, issued the first day he was in office, mandated masks in federal buildings and on federal lands controlled by the executive branch, which includes national park sites, under the supervision of the DOI. (Hines, 2/2)
Thanks To Physical Distancing, Masks, Doctors See Fewer Cases Of A Polio-Like Condition In Children
Many of the respiratory viruses that normally spike in the United States in the fall and winter are circulating at notably low levels right now — a sunnier side effect of the precautions and policies meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus. (Joseph, 2/4)