Disclaimer: People reading health related information on cleanairtas.com should work out what is best for them and act accordingly.
BEWARE: Not all P2 respirators are the same!
Not all masks give protection against viruses.
Surgical masks are primarily made to stop moisture or particles going outwards; they are not really designed to filter air coming in.
LATEST:      Coronavirus COVID-19 UpdateAbout the data
World Health Organisation Update
The Lancet:  COVID-19 Resource Centre
ABC - Coronacasts. Listen on-line here
               Health Department Australia
                      New England Journal
                      CoronaVirus Australia
                      Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)
It is claimed Nano-Silver Filters actually kill viruses
Nano-silver can transform protein expression and generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). This damages the DNA of germs and kills them. Nano-silver can kill a wide range of germs. Medical grade nano-silver coatings eliminate 99% of all airborne bacteria and viruses.
COVID-19 transmission messages should hinge on science
"The precautionary principle suggests we should approach this organism as we would any novel highly transmissible respiratory disease-as a contact, droplet and airborne disease, but with one important caveat:
Short-range aerosol transmission is also a strong possibility."
Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1
"Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days (depending on the inoculum shed)."
Some 'pandemic' P2 respirators, 3M-8210 or 3M-8110s, from the national emergency medical stockpile were given out as a result of the bushfires.
On the 22 January 2020 and in the face of a possible pandemic - One million P2 masks were ordered as authorities respond to the Wuhan coronavirus
On  28 January 2020 The National Medical Stockpile has 12 million masks
Health Minister Greg Hunt said there was a national medical stockpile of 12 million masks which would be sent where they were needed.
Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy stressed there was no need for members of the public to wear masks.
Meanwhile, A top US health official says the US needs 300 million face masks for healthcare workers
“Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the US needs at least 300 million face masks for healthcare workers as the country braces for the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Azar said the US already has 30 million but needs 270 million more.
N95 respirators are not the best way for everyday people to prevent infection because they can’t fully filter out the airborne coronavirus particles, but they are recommended for healthcare professionals”?
Australian Government secures additional 54 million face masks to contain coronavirus outbreak 8 March 2020 Media release
"A combination of
surgical masks, P2 and N95 respirators have been secured for the National Emergency Medical Stockpile, which will be available for medical and aged care professionals to care for patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19."
Thousands of masks released from emergency stockpile
23 hours ago -Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Kelly this afternoon announced 260,000 masks have been distributed to primary medical networks.
Australian doctors need 6.9 million masks a month as GPs refuse to test for coronavirus - March 5, 2020 - 1.17pm
If you are looking for a respirator mask to help protect against a virus you might like to try the P2  3M-1860
"P2 filters may also help reduce breathing in pathogenic biological airborne particulates such as influenza virus."
This respirator requires you to do a fit-check.
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Study highlights ease of spread of COVID-19 viruses
"The findings confirm that COVID-19 is spread simply through breathing, even without coughing, he said. They also challenge the idea that contact with contaminated surfaces is a primary means of spread, Osterholm said."
Is the air quality on a plane ok?
"As many recent air quality studies have shown, the cabin is a healthful environment, meeting all applicable safety and health regulations and standards."
Important studies people need to know about:
Coronavirus looks different in kids than in adults
"Coronavirus looks different in kids than in adults
Largest study to date suggests infants may be vulnerable to critical illness after all -- and that children may play a ‘major role’ in spread of pathogen"
Army deployed to help Australia’s only mask factory
Australian Defence Force soldiers have been deployed to help Australia's only mask manufacturer, Med-Con, near Shepparton.
Hospital Workers Make Masks From Office Supplies
"Providence infection control and quality experts designed prototype face-shields with off-the-shelf materials: marine-grade vinyl, industrial tape, foam and elastic. Monday night they bought supplies at craft stores and Home Depot. On Tuesday, about 20 administrative staff members at the health system’s corporate headquarters volunteered to work an assembly line in a large conference room, putting together 500 home-spun face shields"
Mass masking in the COVID-19 epidemic
"The WHO recommends against wearing masks in community settings because of lack of evidence. However, absence of evidence of effectiveness should not be equated to evidence of ineffectiveness, especially when facing a novel situation with limited alternative options."
"Furthermore, transmission from asymptomatic infected individuals has been documented for COVID-19, and viral load is particularly high at early disease stage. Masking, as a public health intervention, would probably intercept the transmission link and prevent these apparently healthy infectious sources."
Lancet study recommends masks:
In addition, vulnerable populations, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions, should wear face masks if available. Universal use of face masks could be considered if supplies permit."
Nano-filter extends life of masks worn to avoid coronavirus
A research team in South Korea has developed a nano-filter that could extend the life of face masks being worn extensively because of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Q: Should we be reconsidering the role of masks given that an “absence of evidence of effectiveness should not be equated to evidence of ineffectiveness”?
A: “...we don’t have the supply chain for everyone to have them and the hospitals need them.” -
Professor Bruce Thompson, Dean of Health at Swinburne University.

After reading the studies below, coronavirus can be spread by aerosols, not just by droplets or touch. Coronavirus can live in the air for 3 hours.
Viability in air:
"A very recent study found that SARS-CoV-2 aerosols remain viable for up to 3 hours, which is similar to the viability of SARS-CoV in air and MERS-CoV.
This is adequate time for exposure, inhalation, and infection to occur both near and far from a source."

Therefore, cleanairtas believes suitable respirator masks or face coverings (worn by BOTH those affected AND those unaffected out in the community) do have a place in preventing the spread of this virus.
This virus is like electricity, you cannot see it in the early stages but if it gets hold of you it could kill you and in turn kill others. We all have to behave and act responsibly and if this means us all wearing a mask or face covering to prevent potential transmission to ourselves and others the better for all.

As at the 24/3/2020 - N95 respirators and surgical masks were available on eBay.
Search on 3M-8210, find a good price and you could have them in less than 10 days.
If you have, or could have the virus (and you will never know in the early days of infection) a non-vented (non-valved) N95 respirator is a must.
A valve assists in quick exhalation of CO2, and heat, from your mask making it more comfortable to wear, but is a no no if you have the virus!
Only wear a vented respirator if you are absolutely sure you have not been near an infection source in the last two weeks, or have had a negative test.
A respirator may provide protection against multiple modes of transmission, including droplet, airborne and hand-to-mouth/nose transmission.

Surgical type masks may not stop you catching the virus. They do not mate-to-the-face of infected people; they do not mate-to-the-face of uninfected people.
Surgical type masks do stop you touching your face which is good,  but by design they cannot provide the same sort of protection as a N95/P2 respirator when fitted properly.
See the difference between surgical masks and N95/P2 respirators HERE
However, as we have heard there is a very clear and concise message on the usefulness of face masks or face coverings to reduce transmission of coronavirus.
Japan and others wear masks and their COVID-19 levels are down - see chart below...
Read the latest media releases, speeches and transcripts from the ministers of the Health portfolio.
‘PPE is being rationed at every level of distribution as the world faces a global shortage due to the coronavirus pandemic, exacerbated by the bushfire crisis in Australia.  Professor Murphy said priority would be placed on ensuring PPE for ‘first responders’, and that the Government is expecting some additional masks will arrive by the end of April.
This map March 21 2020.   Latest data from Worldometers HERE
COVID-19: Face masks at LGH could be re-used if demand spikes
"Staff at the Launceston General Hospital could be forced to decontaminate and re-use face masks in the event of a spike in demand for personal protective equipment. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated, the Tasmanian Health Service is considering the option of decontaminating and re-using P2 face masks at the hospital should the need arise."
Coronavirus survives on surfaces.
Here’s what it means for handling money, food and more

"They advise running produce under fresh water is sufficient, and the use of soap is not recommended. Hands should be washed with soap after touching produce."
Elon Musk:  250,000 N95 Masks For Hospitals Tomorrow
“We have 250k N95 masks. Aiming to start distributing those to hospitals tomorrow night. Should have over 1000 ventilators by next week.”
Limited supply of PPE in Australia.
Depletion of the National Medical Stockpile.  Cancellation of elective surgery

"On 25 March 2020 AHPPC released a statement recommending the cancellation of elective surgery. This is a measure to respond to the continued depletion of the National Medical Stockpile and the limited supply of PPE in Australia."
But see how many planes and people are moving about ?
You won't see many coming into Tasmania now
April 1, 2020 -  Over 1 million N95 equivalent face masks + 400,000 surgical masks.
"The first plane of critical medical supplies from the world’s largest producer, China, is to depart from Shanghai today (Australian Western Standard Time).
Aiming to resolve Australia’s extreme shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment), two more flights are due to arrive on Friday and Saturday this week, together bringing more than 600 cubic meters weighing over 90 tonnes of medical supplies."
The usefulness of face masks and why we must wear them.
WHO considers changing guidance on wearing face masks
The World Health Organization is considering changing its guidance on whether people should wear face masks in public, prompted by new evidence that suggests doing so could help contain the pandemic.
Czechs facing up to COVID-19 crisis by making masks mandatory
A regulation issued on 18 March made it compulsory to wear either a surgical face mask or other mouth and nose-covering apparel when in public, one of the few countries in the world to issue such a demand.
The Facebook page “Czechs sew face masks” now has 36,000 followers, and posts daily videos showing people how to sew their own masks from t-shirts and other household fabric, while the page also allows users to advertise their own handicraft for sale online
US moves toward broader promotion of masks.
The Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many, if not almost all, Americans wear face coverings when leaving home, in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Officials would suggest that non-medical masks, T-shirts or bandannas be used to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home. Medical-grade masks, particularly short-in-supply N95 masks, would be reserved for those dealing directly with the sick.
Fauci 'puzzled' by how virus affects healthy people differently.
“The top U.S. infectious disease official says medical experts are no closer to figuring out why some seemingly healthy people infected by the new coronavirus develop only mild or no symptoms but others become very sick.”
Anyone may be a considered a carrier, whether they have symptoms or not.
In response to recent studies, the CDC on Wednesday changed how it was defining the risk of infection for Americans. It essentially says anyone may be a considered a carrier, whether they have symptoms or not.
Scientist’s plea for Australians to wear masks    Face coverings.
Jeremy Howard, an Australian researcher who works at the University of San Francisco, was speaking on the Today show this morning.
He has started a campaign called Masks4All that aims to encourage people to wear masks in public despite current advice that they are of little use unless someone is infected.
masks4all  -  Make and wear a home-made mask to slow the spread
“Analyses show that if 50% of the population were to wear masks, only 50% of the population would be infected by the virus. Once 80% of the population wears a mask, the outbreak can be stopped immediately.”
Lets hope it doesn't get to this in Tasmania
How hospitals can decontaminate and reuse scarce N95 masks - Stanford News

“As health workers and first responders in the United States try to stem a pandemic without adequate protective gear, health officials are forced to consider a stopgap - decontaminating and reusing N95 masks to shield those whose jobs expose them to the virus that causes COVID-19.”
N95DECON releases study of three approaches to P2/N95 decontamination for the COVID-19 pandemic

Australia has AS/NZS standards for single-use respirators and re-use is not included.
Note the strong Disclaimer attached to this study
CDC advises Americans to wear non-medical masks. = Face coverings.
"The White House says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that Americans cover their faces when leaving the home, especially around other people. The latest guidance suggests that Americans use makeshift coverings, such as T-shirts, scarves or bandanas to cover their noses and mouths. Medical-grade masks, especially N95 masks, are to be reserved for those on the front lines of trying to contain the pandemic. The policy change comes as public health officials are concerned that those without symptoms can spread the virus which causes COVID-19."
Ways to make a Face Covering
Two tutorials on how to make your own fabric face covering.
Note: these are different to a surgical mask or N95 respirator.

But here is an even easier way… Check it out!
Masks may be good, but the messaging around them has been very bad
That’s one of the arguments in favour of masks for everyone: if people who aren’t visibly sick can still spread the virus, asking everybody to wear a mask may block their virus-laden exhalations from entering a space. In addition, if the tiny droplets full of virus linger in the air, wearing a mask might stop people from breathing them in.
We are constantly being told NOT to wear facemasks for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is telling the general public not to wear face masks. Why?
The main reason according to authorities is because there is a shortage of masks and respirators and these are required for front-line workers.
Agreed, but face masks for front-line workers are supplied from our national medical stockpile and people sourcing their own certified surgical masks or P2/N95 respirators should not reduce these numbers in any way for front-line workers.
To bolster the argument not to wear face masks, it is wrongly being claimed masks are ineffective. If they are ineffective for the public then it follows they must be ineffective for front-line workers but this is not the case.
Both front-line workers and the general public must know how to put standards approved P2/N95 respirators on, correctly take them off, and to perform face-fit checks to get the best protection but not everybody is trained how to do this.
Study - Coronavirus can travel much farther than previously thought
The scientists based their findings on a Jan. 22 case of a person with the virus who took a long-distance 48-seater bus ride - and ended up infecting 13 people total. Surveillance footage showed that the patient didn’t interact with others throughout the four-hour ride - but a couple of the people who became infected were sitting as far as six rows away, or about 15 feet, the researchers said.
Turbulent Gas Clouds and Respiratory Pathogen Emissions: Potential Implications for Reducing Transmission of COVID-19
Peak exhalation speeds can reach up to 33 to 100 feet per second (10-30 m/s), creating a cloud that can span approximately 23 to 27 feet (7-8 m). Protective and source control masks, as well as other protective equipment, should have the ability to repeatedly withstand the kind of high-momentum multiphase turbulent gas cloud that may be ejected during a sneeze or a cough and the exposure from them. Currently used surgical and N95 masks are not tested for these potential characteristics of respiratory emissions.
However, there is mounting evidence that just a simple face covering worn by the public can slow the spread of Covid-19.
Details can be found further down this page….
"Pandemic Infuenza Preparedness, Safe Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)"
This DVD is an educational tool that provides instruction on infection control precautions and the correct and safe use of personal protective equipment. It also outlines the correct procedures and available methods for the fit-testing of P2N95 high filtration masks. Individual chapters of the DVD can be downloaded for viewing from the above link:
Respiratory protection is the last line of defence!
Just to be clear:
We have heard the term PPE which refers to any Personal Protection Equipment.
Face masks and respirators should be referred to as Respiratory Protection Equipment or  RPE.
This page deals with RPE.
Respiratory Protection
Greg Hunt - Interview with Tara Brown on 60 Minutes
"...we've already distributed 11 million masks but we've just received, over the recent weeks, 30 million masks, and I can release that via you this evening, and that's replenished the stockpile.…we've already distributed 11 million masks but we've just received, over the recent weeks, 30 million masks, and I can release that via you this evening, and that's replenished the stockpile…as well as making masks here in Australia. We expect, over the coming months to the end of the year, to make up to 200 million masks."
How coronavirus spread while supply orders lagged
An Associated Press review has found that the Trump administration squandered precious months before bolstering the federal stockpile of urgently needed medical supplies and equipment.