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FDA: N95 masks, now plentiful, should no longer be reused

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FILE – In this Friday, May 8, 2020 file photo, a respiratory therapist pulls on a second mask over her N95 mask before adding a face shield as she gets ready to go into a patient’s room in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at a hospital in Seattle. Medical providers may soon return to using one medical N95 mask per patient, a practice that was suspended during the pandemic due to deadly supply shortages. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Medical providers may soon return to using one medical N95 mask per patient, a practice that was suspended during the pandemic due to deadly supply shortages. The Biden administration says there are now adequate supplies of N95 masks, and that hospitals and health care facilities should transition away from rationing the safety equipment. The National Nurses Union, the largest professional association of registered nurses in the country, calls the new guidance “a tiny step in the right direction” but “ultimately fails” to protect nurses because it allows employers to use their discretion about what normal N95 supply is.

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