Why N95 Should Be the Standard for All COVID-19 Inpatient Care

Ann Intern Med. 2020 Nov 3;173(9):749-751. doi: 10.7326/M20-2623. Epub 2020 Jun 29.


Guidelines differ in their guidance on the use of N95 respirators versus medical masks for frontline health care workers working with patients with COVID-19, particularly when aerosolized procedures are not involved. This article makes the case that the existing data are inconclusive regarding the comparative effectiveness of N95 versus medical masks and could be misinterpreted. The authors suggest a reevaluation of this evidence or acknowledgement of these deficiencies in the setting of guidelines.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Masks / standards*
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Personal Protective Equipment / standards*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • SARS-CoV-2