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COVID-19: Public Transit Mask Use, FDA Patient Monitoring Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Oct. 29 updated guidance for wearing masks on public transportation. The agency urges all passengers and personnel to wear face masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs, where social distancing can be difficult.

Personnel should refuse entry to people not wearing a mask and mandate mask use among passengers and other personnel, except when people are:

  • eating, drinking, or taking medication for brief periods;
  • unconscious, incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or unable to remove the mask without assistance; and
  • requested to remove the mask temporarily for identity verification, such as during Transportation Security Administration screening; and
  • deemed exempt from mask use, because:
    • they are younger than 2;
    • they have written instructions from a licensed medical provider not to wear a mask;
    • they have a disability, mental health condition, or sensory sensitivity that prevents them from wearing a mask;
    • they are hearing impaired or communicating with someone who is hearing impaired and reliant on the ability to see the mouth to communicate;
    • wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty per workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations; or
    • operating a mask would interfere with a person’s ability to safely operate the conveyance.

FDA Guidance Expands Access to Non-Invasive Patient Monitoring Devices

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its enforcement policy for the use of non-invasive remote patient monitoring devices during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

This update adds an additional device type: Gaseous-Phase Carbon-Dioxide Gas Analyzer (product code CCK), which includes capnographs and devices with a capnography feature.

The policy is being implemented without public comment and will remain in effect until the end of the public health emergency.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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